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Why I say ‘newsbrands’ and what I mean

March 18, 2010

A while ago, I stopped using the term newspaper/Web site/etc. when referring to a news organization and replaced whatever it was with newsbrand. If that sounds newsspeak-y or douche bag-y, I’m sorry, but I find newsbrand to be the most accurate definition of what a modern news source is (and news source is awkward to say).

There are two big problems with the terms people have historically used—newspaper, TV station, blog, Web site, radio station, etc. For starters, they refer to specific mediums. If you’re reporting news in 2010 and calling yourself any of those things, you’re representing yourself inaccurately (hopefully). Think about it: You perhaps operate a legacy medium (print or broadcast) and then a Web site, Twitter account, Facebook Page…. You may think that because your “main product” is in print, for instance, you’re a newspaper. That’s wrong. There are people who only follow you on Twitter or only get your Facebook updates; there are also people who follow you across multiple mediums, making what you are even less definitive.

The other issue is that every medium carries with it certain connotations—ones that may not necessarily be true (or flattering). Let’s just free associate here with some of the negative ones:

  • Newspapers: Aren’t you guys bankrupt?
  • TV stations: Isn’t your entire audience over the age of 60?
  • Blogs: You guys are all opinionated, right?
  • Twitter feeds: Well that’s just silly….

So why “newsbrand”? It’s all-encompassing. Break yourself down to your base—forget about your methods of delivery: You are a provider of news and information. You’re not in this game to see your name in print or be on TV; you do what you do because you want to inform the public. How you do that is not as important as the fact that you do it well and you do it in whatever form your audience prefers.

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