What I’ve been reading: Andreessen on the future of news

Netscape founder Marc Andreessen got a lot of attention towards the end of February for his fundamentally optimistic thesis The Future of the News Business: A Monumental Twitter Stream All in One Place. In this post on his blog, he proposes that the way in which technology has broken 60 year old monopolies in the media industry along with the emergence of a new and enormous, mobile phone-wielding and news-hungry market (particularly in places like South Africa where I live) heralds the beginning of a golden age for news media and professional journalism.

Effectively what Andreeseen claims we are seeing a simultaneous increase in both supply and demand is taking place and that the challenge for the news business is to address that market. He believes quality journalism (supported by the right mix of revenue from a range of different models) can coexist and even thrive alongside the ‘oceans of crap’ that expand exponentially online.

Andreeseen’s list of new news models that he believes are doing it right, is worth noting.

The companion piece is Frédéric Filloux’s critique of Andreessen’s argument in the Monday Note where Filloux suggests the main flaw in his argument is the assumption that the big, emerging market will consume as much news content in the same way they will embrace mapping services and cat videos. “Andreessen also vastly underestimates the cost of good journalism,” according to Filloux.


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