Now Its the Medias Turn
Ten months after the Nasdaq topped 5000 and then began its downward drift, journalists finally are feeling the pressure.Ten months after the Nasdaq topped 5000 and then began its downward drift, journalists finally are feeling the pressure. In the last few weeks, hundreds of journalists have been laid off from New Economy magazines and from Web sites whose big-name backers suddenly realized that they were drinking the same Kool-Aid that fueled the explosion and subsequent crash of so many dot-coms. Rupert Murdochs News Corp. eliminated around 200 positions by transferring the production of its news, sports and general entertainment Web sites to its television units. In a statement, the president of News Digital Media said the companys "fear that television and Web programming would rival each other" was wrong. Last week, CNN, which is now owned by AOL, followed suit, cutting 400 positions by consolidating its television and Web operations. Meanwhile, New York Times Digital cut 69 jobs while reasserting its confidence in "the Internet as an additional medium" for profitably serving customers.
What were the executives of those organizations thinking? Wouldnt you expect people who make a living evaluating business and technology to make smarter decisions about the Internet than the average dot-com executive or venture capitalist? Unfortunately, the answer is no. The availability of large amounts of money has revealed that journalists are as vulnerable as anyone else to rising to positions above their level of competence, and the market has not yet figured out how to value information that is offered online.