|Gabiel Kahn of USC spoke to CNPA.|
Perhaps the most challenging presenter was Gabriel Kahn, professor and director of the Future of Journalism Program at the University of Southern California and a former bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal. He "was pessimistic about local newspapers’ ability to get digital advertising when 'Facebook and Google are taking 85 percent of digital advertising' because they "always will be able to out-spend and out-tech you," Jeff Rowe reports for the California News Publishers Association (which recently changed to "News" from "Newspapers").
Kahn said "selling squares and rectangles next to content is not viable" and questioned whether newspapers should focus mainly on generating page views. "Reader revenue is the future, Kahn said, noting that calling readers 'subscribers' under-values them. Call them 'members,' Kahn advised, saying that term connotes a mindset while 'subscriber' references a pricing strategy." (But the word also means, literally, "underwriter.") He said his $10 monthly membership in a Los Angeles public radio station are worth the extras he gets for membership, and membership allows media outlets to segment their audiences.
The program at the CNPA Press Summit also included discussions of drones, millennials, open government, legalization of marijuana, building audience with video, coverage of President Trump and Washington (including a wide-ranging speech from Leon Panetta, former congressman, White House chief of staff, budget director, defense secretary and Central Intelligence Agency director) and a "Great Ideas Roundtable." Read about it all here.