Our man in Havana

The other day on the radio, I heard an interview with the Chicago Tribune’s Havana bureau chief.

Wow. Think of all the newspapers. Think of all the cities that are as important as Havana. That’s a lot of people.

Is it even remotely conceivable that ten years from now, the Chicago Tribune is going to have a bureau chief in London or Beijing, never mind Havana?

I just read the reports on Joe and his primary from a paper in Australia…

Now that media has been completely atomized, blown to bits and rearranged, how do they pay for their man in Havana? They don’t, I bet.

Just as we’ve seen video take a huge downturn in quality (think American Idol vs. M*A*S*H) as the quantity has soared, it’s inevitable that news is going to go down the same path. The good news is that, just as video is rebounding as the voices find their footing, news will too. It won’t be "our" man in Havana. It’ll be a number of individuals representing themselves and building a following–with a filter to be named later.

The most useful thing you can do with this piece of data is exactly what William Randolph Hearst and others did several generations ago–realize that there are a passel of slots available. Go fill one (or more) and grow it. No, it’s not worth a lot now, but we’re already seeing that once a blog fills a niche well, it becomes a cash cow (and a center of influence)… far faster than a newspaper ever did.