Do-Not-Track will Boost Journalism/Publishing Says Nieman Fdn. Expert

Online ad lobbyists disingenuously claim that privacy safeguards will doom the commercial Internet, choking off content and publishers.  They are fearful that consumers will have the power to actually decide who can collect and make money off their data–instead of their “Big Brother Can Steal Your Data Anytime, Anywhere” model.  In a new column written for the journalism think-tank and resource Nieman Foundation,  Ken Doctor (who covers the business of news for them) writes [excerpt, our emphasis]:  “Enter a new age of Do Not Track. Maybe, in that world, news media’s role — and its engagement with audiences — becomes much more valuable. Maybe, it’s a reintermediation of a kind, as news media’s role in the shopping/buying lives of its readers re-emerges, digitally.  How might this happen? If we look at the potential newsonomics of Do Not Track, we can see at least two ways that real revenue can be driven out of the reordering of the tracking world…If Do Not Track puts more power back into the hands of the publisher, then publishers may be help to re-sell the information — and that could help build toward the new business model news publishers’ need…The big opportunity, perhaps, is the ability of news publishers to transparently offer reader/consumers the opportunity to “opt in” to a wider world of reading and shopping targeting. Then, they could re-emerge, in the tablet era no less, as community and national centers of news — and commerce. Forget Foursquare; readers could check into their favorite news companies.

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.