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Why The Traditional Newsgathering Model “Is No Longer a Successful One”

Politico’s Patrick Gavin is covering the Ideas Festival at the Aspen Institute this week. During a panel last night, a group of old media types discussed — what else — the future of journalism. The panel included the Institute’s president/former CNN president Walter Isaacson, ABC News president David Westin, and Washington Post scion Katharine Weymouth.

“The most important thing is, if you do journalism that people really want, you can find a way to get paid for it,” said Westin.

Westin also talked about the newsgathering model of multiple crews covering the same story, using ABC’s coverage of Hurricane Gustav as an example:

Basically, news organizations have had a strategy of covering the same news that everyone else does but trying to do it better. That strategy is no longer a successful one.

We spent over a million dollars and sent 20 people [to cover Gustav]. And to be honest, we could have played the same footage from the last hurricane and no one would have noticed.

Gustav_7.1.jpg

Hurricane Gustav as it approached the Gulf Coast last August. The storm made landfall on Sept. 1 near Cocodrie, Louisiana.

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