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How Big Content is beating back the threat of Big Tech

Sofia the First

Disney Junior

I will not be aggregated, only monetized, Disney Princess Sofia tells her animal friends.

At the New York Times, the always-worth-reading-no-matter-what David Carr has an entertaining take on why rumors of the entertainment and media industries' demise at the hands of disruptive technological forces are, for now, exaggerated.

Why? Because Old Media — in television and movies, anyway — turned in a better financial performance than the technology upstarts. I've characterized this as a battle between Big Content — Hollywood — and Big Tech, based in Silicon Valley. And according to Carr, Big Content actually isn't in full retreat [emphasis is mine]:

[W]orries about insurgent threats from tech-oriented players like Netflix, Amazon and Apple turned out to be overstated. Those digital enterprises were supposed to be trouncing media companies; not only is that not happening, but they are writing checks to buy content. 

[...]

Another thing about those dinosaurs is that they aren’t really old media in the sense of, um, newspapers. When their content is digitized, it is generally monetized, not aggregated. Having learned from what happened in music and print publishing, entertainment companies, built on the still enormous riches of television, have carved their own digital route to consumers.

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Huffington Post Pulitzer splits the difference between old media and new

Arianna Huffington

Thibault Camus/AP

Editorial director of the French version of the Huffington Post's news website Anne Sinclair, right, and co-founder of "the Huffington Post" Arianna Huffington, left, chat as they give a press conference for the launch of the website, in Paris, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012.

So the Huffington Post, that blog-cum-website-cum-NEWS JUGGERNAUT has won its first Pulitzer Prize. At Forbes, Jeff Bercovici sums up the consensus on what this all, you know, means:

Can traffic-chasing sensationalism and society-changing journalism co-exist under the same roof? The decision by the Pulitzer Committee to award this year’s prize for national reporting to the Huffington Post’s David Wood for his series on wounded veterans is a pretty good sign that they can, at least for now. Editor in chief Arianna Huffington and executive editor Tim O’Brien took a few minutes out from the staff’s champagne toast to talk about what it means for the seven-year-old news organization and where it’s headed from here.

FORBES: What’s the mood like over there today?

Tim O’Brien: It was electrifying. People in the newsroom were ecstatic. It was a gratifying recognition of David’s hard work, and of a yearlong commitment to a deeply personal story that we put a lot of editing and reporting resources against. And it’s an affirmation that this kind of work can thrive on the web.

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