Denton, Newmark, Fuller, Twitter’s Dorsey And WSJ‘s Murray Talk Media’s Future

We interrupt coverage of Mediabistro Circus to bring you news of another media panel going on at New York University today as part of New York’s Internet Week.

I Want Media hosted a panel earlier today featuring former Star magazine editor Bonnie Fuller, Gawker chief Nick Denton, The Wall Street Journal‘s deputy managing editor Alan Murray (left), founder Craig Newmark and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey.

The discussion, which was supposed to center around the future of the media industry, centered mostly on Twitter. The panelists agreed that they rely on the microblogging site for a lot of their news aggregation.

“I get all of my Wall Street Journal stories from you,” Denton told Murray.

But is Twitter the future of media? Read on to find out what the panelists said.

Although Twitter and blogs have become a main way that readers are accessing content, the panel agreed that they will not replace traditional media completely.

Fuller, a former gossip magazine editor, said bloggers like Perez Hilton were not a threat to traditional gossip mediums. “There’s plenty of room for different opinions in that space,” she said.

As the newspaperman on the panel, Murray advised newspapers to find what content their audiences would be willing to pay for and capitalize on that. He used the example of community newspapers as offering the kind of content that readers can’t get anywhere else.

“The reason that people subscribe to community newspapers is because they have kids who play football and they cover football in the community newspaper,” he said.

But Murray also opined that in the future media companies will not be able to survive on advertising alone. Denton disagreed.

“I agree that for something like local politics, it would be hard to draw advertisers to that,” Denton said. However, in almost every other respect “there is definitely enough advertising to go around.”

The real future for newspapers and magazines, Newmark said, is putting emphasis on fact-checking and transparency. It’s a refrain we hear over and over again. It seems like everyone has the same idea about where the industry is going, but very few have a concrete idea of how to make money from it.

The Journal is one of the few traditional media publications whose Web site is successfully drawing paying subscribers to Web stories. “The people who want the kind of in-depth quality content that we offer are willing to pay. Over 1 million people pay to read our content,” Murray said. “It is unique to the Wall Street Journal now but I don’t think it has to be unique to the Wall Street Journal.”

Recommended articles