This is the fourth of 5 from our series Introducing The Newscene, leading up to our official beta launch on Friday 3rd. We will be releasing a new part every weekday, so watch this space & follow us. Click for Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3
I get asked this question because I have no background in media. When I started jrnal, I meant to solve the struggle I had with my subscriptions. Now that I have learned so much about this industry, I am still excited by it.
There is something noble about journalism
The search for the truth. Think about Watergate, Cambridge Analytica, Washpost covers of Mueller report etc. journalism has always been there digging for the truth. There’s something fascinating about being a trusted voice that can lead a path and frame the narrative of a whole society.
Newsrooms have always been at the forefront of talent. Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx, Albert Camus, Fyodor Dostoyevsky were all journalists at some point.
My own inclination for special situations and distressed industries
The reason why people ask me that is because I have studied finance & political sciences before a short career in investment firms.
I always had this conviction about distressed industries and special situations. I always liked Baron de Rothschild’s advice — “The time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets.” — and I probably took it too much to heart. I was convinced that one of the most exciting investments would be investing in a company you believe has a future but that not many people will follow along with at first.
At that time, I had the chance to participate in a luxury turnaround, it was an exciting time because I was right to bet on the turnaround of Kering.
Interlude — Let me tell you their story.
Kering is the parent company of Gucci. Gucci at that time represented ⅓ of the revenues and ⅔ of the profits. We are in 2015, Gucci’s revenues are stagnating and profits falling at even a faster pace than advertising revenues today in the news industry. In late 2015, Kering fired everyone at helm of Gucci (CEO & Designer team) and gave the management over to Marco Bizzarri & Alessandro Michele. Both were insiders and largely unknown. Both took huge risks in the direction they choose. They deliberately reimagined the brand’s raison d’être and, long story keep short, it worked!
They turned around the company and managed to make millennials pay for their product. As I am writing this in April 2019, they’ve doubled Gucci’s revenue in 3 years.
Is news similar to what happened to fashion?
Well, I think so. I mean, likewise in fashion:
There are thousands of small indie brands that are focusing on their niche.
There are mid-range brands. They are a “pâle copies” of both big names and indies, using the aesthetics of one, the strategy of others; and vice versa
There are big names. They build their reputation on solid and memorable acts and are some sort of authority.
If my understanding of the news industry is right, as in fashion & luxury if publishers pivot to readers’ dollars, many mid-range brands will simply go out of business. Indies will rise to transform the industry landscape. Big names will ultimately adapt and thrive.
So why news?
Because it’s one of the most exciting challenge out there, the noblest business to fight for and because I am somehow profoundly optimistic about a turnaround.
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