Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Want Media Interview with Tina Brown/Excerpts

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The following are some fascinating excerpts of an I Want Media interview with famous editrix Tina Brown, the former editor-in-chief of The New Yorker, Talk, and Vanity Fair who now heads up the popular online news aggregator, The Daily Beast.

Q: What have you learned in The Daily Beast's first year online?

Tina Brown: I've loved adjusting to and working at the Web's incessant pace. It's easy to iterate online - to test out new ideas, listen to feedback from the audience, keep what works and reject what doesn't. It is a very nimble process. I've also learned that there was, and still is, a real hunger for smart content aggregation or "curation" as I have come to think of it.

Q: The Huffington Post appears to keep growing, launching local editions. Do you see it potentially replacing newspapers?

Brown: No. I still believe strongly that there is a market for print, but we will continue to see interesting hyper-local models evolve. At any level, I believe there needs to continue to be investment in print journalism -- notably investigative units.

Q: Do you still read newspapers in print?

Brown: I love print. I'm married to a newspaper editor, and we still consume a lot of magazines and newspapers. Every morning after I have noodled around with The Daily Beast's headlines and lineup I go out to breakfast at the diner on the corner with Harry and we go through the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Daily News, the Financial Times, the Washington Post; all of them. I'm still a junkie.

Q: Do you miss working in magazines?

Brown: I'm very happy right now. I love the fast pace, the ability to keep innovating, the sense that there is a vibrant, growing, responsive audience out there. It is a sorry time in magazines, none of the talented people I know who work for them feel it’s a great time right now.

Q: Is the Internet-led transformation of the media world a good thing?

Brown: It is largely a good thing, but not without its growing pains. I see this very much as a transitional phase we are in. It's painful if you are caught on the wrong side of it, but there is no doubt in my mind that when this volcanic realignment in media has finally shaken out in the next three years we will see a golden age of journalism and video.

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