An enthusiastic, gesticulating Stuart Elliott, NY Times columnist on advertising, captivated his listeners today in a session sponsored by the SLA Advertising and Marketing division.
When asked about the future of printed newspapers (given the preference of today’s advertisers for the more measurable, if somewhat speculative results, of e-advertising), Elliott said “There are already some magazines that have abandoned print. . . .
“For a daily newspaper, that’s going to be an oh-my-gawd moment, because the history and heritage of these properties is reporting things that you find on your doorstep every morning. If I had one dollar for everyone who goes to the Web for news, I would be wealthy . . . What is a newspaper? We’ve had them since 1750 or whenever, but does that mean they have to continue for another 250 years? . . .
“To try to extrapolate what the new media will be like,” he continued, “would be like extrapolating what TV would be like based on what it was 50 years ago.”
When asked how his own research habits have changed, Elliott said, “There is still a staff of librarians on the 10th floor [of the NYTimes building], but we ask them to do only a fraction of what we used to. We have online information at our fingertips–Lexis-Nexis, Factiva, Wall Street Journal online, all kinds of databases and search engines. I used to keep clippings of articles. I used to call the librarians on the 10th floor . . . now we have an embarrassment of riches. It democratises and decentralizes the sources of information and is good for everyone.”
ITI VP, Content