PRWeek: What do you think about the ongoing changes business news landscape itself?
Pendergrass: I think it’s going through the same changes that the rest of the news is going through. You’re going to see a bifurcation between immediate news—speed, fast as you can, and then turning the crank to the next thing, on one end—and then the other pole, which is great, in-depth, analytical, long-form journalism. So I continue to see a lot of change. It’s going to keep changing for another 20 years. I don’t think anybody’s figured out the formula yet. But I also think a lot of the negativity that journalist have about their own industry is a little overwrought. The means of distribution are changing, and because of that there will be the classic sort of creative destruction. There are going to be good strong players that emerge that figure it out. People want news, people want analysis, people want to read stories.
Business, I think, has a better future. If you look at what’s happened to business news in the last 30 years—half the people in America are shareholders of some kind. It’s a huge change since the Seventies, and I think you’re going to see more and more of that going on around the world, where business news just becomes more important. It’s a small audience in the overall news audience, but it’s a lucrative audience. Those that figure out how to do it best are going to do well.
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