I picked up an interesting story today on the Web. There’s a Nieman report on the Newsroom of the 21st Century, which is one of the best short articles on the subject I’ve read. It’s aptly named “Goodbye Gutenberg.”

The author, Randy Covington, points out that news organizations must acknowledge the extremely disruptive nature of digital media and convergence. He then goes on to argue news organizations must become more focused on getting the story and less focused upon delivery. I must note that Covington has a bias, since he is involves with such a newsplexed organization, Ifra.

The observation newspapers are in trouble and digital media/convergence changes everything is somewhat stale by now. Tell me something I don’t know! But Covington does make some interesting arguments and proposes this newsplex idea as a sort of solution — a New Media distribution mechanism, focused upon reinventing the newsroom. Yet it is quite telling there’s no Wikipedia entry for newsplex — these guys still don’t quite get it.

It’s a tough time at most newspapers right now. Readership is down, and the medium demands more multimedia, which requires more staff and costs more money. I imagine smaller papers will start to fold their print editions and devote resources to online presentation, both at their own sites and for redistributers, which will still be the likes of AP, but also Google and Yahoo!. (Yahoo! makes for a punctuation nightmare, doesn’t it?)

There’s a tremendous opportunity here for those who can ride the wave, and figure out ways to distribute the news in bite-sized chunks. I’m heartened to think talking heads may make way for a more intelligent and sharper breed of anchors, who can run through and comment upon a scrolling ticker of news produced by local, national, international, community, and even individual sources, since video and sound taken on the average person’s mobile phone will coexist with traditional style reporting.

In the end, there’s still a market for news, which means there’s a way to monetize good reporting. However, the expected explosive growth of mobile phone, YouTube style reporting will squeeze the market. But a good news outlet should be able to supplement their news reporting with further analysis of the day’s events and important issues, which again has a monetizable market. Right?

Now I just have to get “monetizable” added to the dictionary. Or Wikitionary. Whatever.