What Is Media?

"The Internet Changes Everything." 

This was the overhyped mantra from the Web 1.0 daze.  Okay, maybe not everything.  But certainly "journalism," "media", "news", and First Amendment rights as it applies to "...freedom of speech, or of the press..."

At Sakura Media, Inc, the parent company of Charity Blossom, we seem to have found ourselves grappling with this issue.  We are a news media company.  At Charity Blossom in particular, we blog, publish two subscription newsletters, operate a community forum, and (will) run a large network of bloggers.  Part of our charter is to dessiminate information, news, and opinions about the nonprofit sector and charitable giving.  We are a (news) media outlet.

Internet publishers have been at logger heads with various entities ("traditional" media and the government, in particular) throughout the past decade.  Today, wikileaks and Julian Assange are at the forefront of this.

We're surprised that Sakura Media is also engaged in this debate.  We'd rather stay out of it but we're working with the IRS to come to some understanding about this.  The particulars are mundane but, in case you are interested, I'll share them here.

At Charity Blossom, we disseminate information about nonprofits -- who they are, what they do, and what they've accomplished.  We publish information about the charitable giving industry in general, as well as about specific nonprofits.  We've found that the Internal Revenue Service is a source of a lot of good information.  So, we've requested it.  The information is free if you are a "member of the media" but pretty expensive if you are not.  As a start up media company, we are pretty conscious about the money we spend, so of course, free is better than expensive.

Hence, we are now in discussion with the whether or not Sakura Media is indeed media.  Our perspective is that we produce content -- news, information, opinions.  We run a network of writers also producing news, information, and opinion.  Hence, we are news media.  We have hundreds of thousands of readers with a growing subscription base.  We are (partially) advertising supported.

We really don't want to be at the forefront of this debate -- "What Is Media?"  We're not so interested in engaging the Federal Government at this level.   But, surprisingly, we have.  Stay tuned.

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This page contains a single entry by published on December 13, 2010 2:31 PM.

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