Sorry, we could not find the combination you entered »
Please enter your email and we will send you an email where you can pick a new password.
Reset password:


Plus Report - By Thomas Baekdal - August 2013

News as Data and the Future of Newspapers

A couple of months ago an editor for a big newspaper asked me: "If I were to start a newspaper from scratch today, what would I do?" My answer was that I wouldn't. At least not in the way he defined newspapers.

When I look at the trend patterns, I believe that in the future what we define as news today will be split into three completely different areas. One is news as data, the other is news as investigative reporting, and the third is news as insights, perspective and know-how.

In this report, I'm going to explain what this means, and how dramatically it changes the role of the newspaper.

News as Data

When we talk about news as data, many people will think it means 'big data', the new buzzword that is flying around pointing to the promised land of yet to be defined data. And while the concept of big data is very interesting, it's mostly interesting for big-data companies, and not so much for newspapers.

You see, the very concept of big data is that its purpose is to explain itself. It's hugely interesting for analysts, but journalists cannot really contribute much to it. Then we have the notion that journalists can use big data to 'do something', but big data is a long-tail concept, and most newspapers focus their stories on the short head.

So I will leave the concept of big data to another time in another report.

When I talk about news as data in this report, I mean the shift that we see from news being reported by people, to news being reported as data.

Let me give you three examples that illustrate the shift:

Cruise Ship

Remember back in January 2012 when the cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground off the coast of Tuscany Italy?

This 26 page report is exclusive for subscribers. (login)

Try it free for one week

Register to try out Baekdal Plus completely for free for one week.

for just...
for just...
You get two months for free


Baekdal Plus is your premium destination for trends and analysis for the media industry. Every year you get 25 reports about the future media trends, business and editorial strategies, monetization analysis and insights about how to use analytics specifically for publishers.

As a subscriber, you also get full access to all the Plus reports (more than 200) published over the past 8 years, as well as the ability to share what you read.

I'm a company, can we pay via an invoice?

Yes, of course, please write to and I will send you a regular invoice that you can pay via your bank. I will need your company name, address and VAT number (if within the EU). Also, please note that due to this process being manual, this will be for an annual subscription only.

Is there an Enterprise Plan?

Yes, please write to for details. But for 25-99 users: the price is 20% off the subscription price ($79/year per user), 100+ users is a fixed price at $5,000 (for all combined).

Can you create a report just for us?

Yes, please head over to Baekdal Media to read about consulting where I can help you with strategy reviews, trend and strategy reports, and strategic guidance for you media company or a specific publication.



The Baekdal Plus Newsletter is the best way to be notified about the latest media reports, but it also comes with extra insights.

Get the newsletter

Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


—   trends   —


The trend and future outlook for "brand+publisher", and how to make that work


How scared should we be of AIs taking our jobs?


What is the role of print in 2023?


Advertising ... 10 years from now


Advertising will always be a struggle unless we think like brands


The trends currently favor media innovation