My friend, Prem, who writes on Drishtikone – would often reprimand me about the quality of the posts written on the blog. Initially, to start with, I was more concerned about the quantity as opposed to quality of the posts. He clearly disagreed. It took me a while to get to his level. Roughly two and a half years back I decided that I will only have quality stuff written on this blog.
So, I consciously decided to write my posts seriously and in detail.. with citations / references etc. And sometime when you can’t write long ones, even then it should not be just a link and a one-liner as most bloggers do their posts. Unless I (or the other writers) have something substantial / significant to say on the matter, there is no use just linking stuff from other sites mindlessly.
That leads to the interesting story I read about my favorite news source – the NPR. I LOVE NPR, if you haven’t figured it out by now. That is where I would want Drishtikone to reach as an institution and a brand.
NPR – National Public Radio – has an interesting business model. It has a central agency – the NPR, of course – which links up to local radio franchises in most cities. Every city franchise gets to use the NPR content, while creating its own as well – which it can, of course, syndicate using NPR’s large network. Every intra-NPR-family transaction is paid for. The money is raised from the public (hence, National Public Radio). The money raising is done twice or thrice a year with targets of close to a million within 7 days (which is easily met). There are adverts as well.. but they aren’t as annoying as in other programs. The adverts are announced by the NPR announcers themselves – mostly as sponsors of a program.
The programs are of the HIGHEST quality. In fact, I am CONVINCED beyond any shadow of doubt that NPR’s network is the BEST and the MOST CREDIBLE news source in the world! Nothing, not BBC, not CNN.. nothing even comes close to it in terms of its quality, creativity, intellectual level etc.
And the rub is that they don’t just depend on quality. They also look for User Experience. NPR is always at the forefront of technological innovations – HD Radio, RSS feeds (when they came), podcasts, online streaming using Google desktop, Web experience as a whole – everything is first embraced at NPR and then any other news outlet.
This is what Vivian Schiller (president-CEO of the news and entertainment programming producer and distributor) says about NPR’s commitments and principles
Foursquare, the latest location-based mobile-network craze, falls into NPR’s need-not bucket while Apple’s new iPad zings into the absolutely must-do bucket, she said. The difference? An iPad application can help NPR reach a wider audience and enable its news consumers to become more informed. “We’re a not-for-profit, mission-driven organization, so for us the first question is always about mission,” Ms. Schiller said. “We have almost a religious fervor about two things: the user experience and the quality of the content. If you just keep focused on those two things, the rest of it falls into place.”
Worth reading again and again for every blogger and news outlet, who / which wants to become a credible source of information.
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