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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 13, 2009 8:00pm-8:30pm EDT

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on -- or download the c-span bod cast. >> a look now at the future of newspapers and technology in the publishing industry with kathryn weymuth, publisher of the "washington post." this is about 40 minutes. .
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this inaugural events will provide us with an opportunity to connect, share, and learned to experience the true power of women in technology. before i introduce this morning's keynote speaker, let's take a brief look at the women and technology to a parade of women face challenges in every industry, but i find that, although women make up half of the workforce in the united states, our ranks are declining in information technology. from 40% in 1986 to only 24% today. i am concerned this decline may continue. there has been a 79% drop in the number of women majoring in computer science in the last
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eight years. there are a number of factors including a long hours, travel, the glass ceiling, lack of mentors and role models, and a lack of the parity in pay especially in the lower ranks. despite these challenges, the information technology industry offers a tremendous opportunity to women and women are entering into the top ranks of our business. it considers xerox, a company that engaged in the first woman to woman ceo in the fortune 500. that makes this so spectacular. ursula burns become the first african-american female ceo in the fortune 500. women own almost 40% of all privately held businesses in the united states. this number will grow as unemployment climbs to over 9% and people are forced to dustoff their business plans and ideas.
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during this economic crisis, many women might become technological entrepreneurs. as i to professionals, we can imagine and build solutions to make our lives more productive and prosperous while using emerging technologies and cutting edge tools. in fact, we're already seeing women establishing an agreement technology firms. others are advising on of the vote -- on optimal use of social networking. women who succeed in information technology have a clear purpose and a strong sense of self- worth. i imagine many viewed in this room sure many of those same qualities. i know are two keenan speakers do. as we begin at this conference, i encourage you to talk to other in -- talk to other attendees and share your personal experiences, how you overcome challenges, and how an inspiring
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mentor encourage you to follow your path. less engaged in a dialogue as we, women in the technology, can shake the technology and -- technology industry with our focus on innovation. we should work together to set the course by becoming role models and mentors for the inspiration of the future generations. by doing so, we will harness the true power of women in technology. now, i would like to introduce this morning's keynote speaker. katherine weymoth is the publisher of the "the post." in fact, she recently talked about how technology is changing the newspaper business "the wall street journal" conference with ariane huffington.
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her grandmother was her mentor and led "the washington post" for more than two decades. she's been there since 1996 serving and several managing roles. she was named publisher and ceo in 2000 and eight. -- into a dozen date. she is also a mother to three young children. thank you for joining us. [applause] >> think you, rebecca, for that introduction. is -- the year with such a great group of women and i see a few select man who second. it is great to see you. it is great to be a part of the first gathering of this group. i want to tell you a little story. i was driving my 9-year-old
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daughter to school. she was playing on my iphone. i told her, when i was growing up, we did not have computers, e-mail, iphone, you name it. she said, "well, mom. it must have been hard growing up in the olden days. [laughter] the pace of change seems to be speeding up three new devices are being developed at an astonishing pace and changing the way we live our lives. five years ago, youtuber and a twitter did not exist. facebook existed but it was hardly the behemoth it became today. it is not a surprise us that there are people other developing new technologies that we can barely imagine. technology with enhances our lives and at the same time industries our lives in ways remain had not anticipated.
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it frees you to work from anywhere but keep you prisoner in others. parents have for years battled with kids of the time they should spend on computers and video games. today, children are fighting to get their parents off their blackberries. there is a great article a few years ago that describe one family in texas. this one woman's 7-year-old and she was annoyed her mother was always on her black married. -- on her blackberry. the 4-year-old girl seen to recognize her fawn broader comfort like a security blanket. recently, seeing her mom's logged on -- slumped on the couch and brought her phone asking if it would make her feel battle -- feel better.
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in new jersey, hurt children abandoned her mother from using her phone in the evening. she said the kids think i have a small letter. technology is changing her life for women around the world as well. we've published a story in "the washington post" has sell funds have changed the lives of women in saudi arabia. -- about how cell phones have changed the lives. social contact between men and women who are now related what -- was forbidden tree to the number of cell phone users in saudi arabia have grown to almost half the entire population read our journalists wrote about how bluetooth technology which allows high- speed transfer within a range of
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about 15 yards was the linemen have to communicate within the cell phone range for the first time with women they did not know. our journalists explained that bluetooth technology, and i find this fascinating, was named for a 10th century danish king reunited the days and the swedes. -- the danes and swedes there separated by tradition. users can make -- choose to make and sell as a visible to other users within range. the story describes when young man is sitting in a cafe with his friends hoping to find a one woman to meet him of the his cell phone and by -- cell phone invite. he quickly responded with a textile had tried so many other times unsuccessfully, he wrote i would have been if he would be
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my girlfriend. according to our story, she sends back a digital photo of madonna holding up her middle finger. not easily deterred, the young man told a are reporter that patience is essential. now back to how technology is a reshaping the newspaper industry people -- newspaper industry. people wonder why i took this job at a time when people seem to be tripping over themselves predicting our demise. one came from a former newspaper reporter himself. he wrote this in 2006. "the trouble of continues to shrink. once, i would drive across town if necessary. today, i open the front door and the paper isn't within about 10 feet, i retreat to my computer and read it online. only six months ago, that figure
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was 20 feet. extrapolating, they will have to bring it to me in bed by the end of the year in real to me outlawed by the second quarter of 2007. i guess he is still waiting in bed for his newspaper. his morning -- he is one of many of the voices who are doing for our industry. on the days i'm feeling particularly challenged i turn to a pillow i have for my grandmother. it reads, "a woman is just like a tea bag. you never know just how strong she is until she is in hot water." he is not the only would redeem the debt of newspapers. while -- well, i have some news from these people we do for these people. we may be in hot water, but we are not dead 375% of the men, women, and children and leave washington area we'd -- read "the washington post." that's more people that watch
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the super bowl this year. there's a lot of hype about how young people do now read newspapers anymore. in fact, more washingtonians ages 18-34 reprinted newspaper and then watch "american idol." any single issue of the posed reaches more than -- any single issue of the "the post" -- more than any television spot would on one of the major fault -- major four networks. while we are still strong in the prince, we have a larger audience than ever. people who would -- people who were never able to buy in addition can and do we are content online everyday greeting in the month of may, we had 10 million unique visitors a tube 90% of our traffic is from
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outside the area. people come to us because we are a trusted source for news and information focus on washington which matters with the local community and to the world. our commitment has been and always will be remaining to our local community. our daily is duper still has higher penetration and at the local area than any other major metropolitan newspaper. our web site is the number one is the site for the d.c. area. in short, our leadership is still strong and growing online. what is the problem? the problem is the economic model that has supported our business for many years. as far as the newspaper business goes, well, i was quoted last year using a technical term you often hear within our industry that is a "the numbers sucks." this is partly because of the shift going on in our industry. newspaper revenue across the united states has declined sharply and classified
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advertising has taken the biggest hit. we are no different. we have always been an advertising driven model. only 20% comes from subscription fees through the other 80% comes our advertising. with the advent of the internet, we have seen our share decline. take craigslist as an example. i imagine i would say, let's say -- let's build the site where people can come and advertising everything that advertise on the paper now for free. i would have been like, i do not think so. i am pretty confident my answer would have been "no way." craigslist, autotrader, ebay all took enough share and has had significant negative impact on
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our revenues. we cannot set still by any means reinvested very early in building strong classified verticals online. you can do all the things you have always done, by a car, find a house in, find a job on line. we have the number one online job site in the washington area. the effect has been to significantly erode our share of dollars coming in. what are we doing about it? i ito my folks will have two choices to either stick our head in the sand or move and do something. we are moving. here is what we are doing. in the last year, i put together a new senior management team to guide us through mar the most difficult times our industry has faced. we're cutting across the border while trying to ensure that we do not cut in ways that will alienate our readers and advertisers. we're integrating our print and online operations into one building and into a structure that we think will allow us to be more nimble as well as more
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efficient. we're redesigning the newspaper and our website and we are restructuring our news and business operations to ensure that we can deliver news and information on the platform our readers want to get them on whether that means on paper, on a cell phone come on a laptop, desktop, on a kindle, or podcast. whatever platform they watch, we will be there. at the same time, as my grandmother once said, in order to do good we must do well. that is as true today as it was then trade in order to support to the infrastructure that produces the quality news that we've delivered to readers, we must continue to be a viable and healthy business. our challenge is clear. how will be provided news and information to our readers in a sustainable business model? we must shrink our cost structure but continue to invest in our future in which digital will be a huge part. as we shrink our structure, we must not alienate our core.
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to tell you a quick story about that, i spent an inordinate about a time in the starbucks -- amoutn of time in starbucks. and other the gentleman came up to me, smiled, held out his hand. i said i think we met at a birthday party. anticipated him saying sending about the paper because people have local views about it. he said, "you're doing a terrible disservice to your readers per your besmirching your ogles reputation -- your own goals reputation by taking bookworld out of the newspaper." with the contents into the rest of the paper and remove that section. we tried to preserve the content but changing the format. that is a privilege example of
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people really caring about their product. it is a consumer products at the end of the day. -- that is a perfect example of people really caring about their product. after the democratic national convention, we got off of the plane and there was a woman with her mother there. the first thing she did when she got at the paper -- which got off the plane was to buy "the washington post." they're searching it frantically looking for something. they were starting to get frustrated. they're looking for the second section. i said can help you find something? she said i am looking for the metro section. i do not understand why it is not here. well sometimes they deliver it
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sometimes toward the back. she was looking for page b3, the car wash coupons. she spent $1.50 to get a coupon. our journalist haiti year the story. we are journalists hate to hear this story. we can change the product, but we have to be careful how we change it. the that we are making is that there is an appetite for quality news and no matter what the platform and that there will always be an appetite for quality news. we also know we have two audiences with a distinctly different desires. first is the local community. readers come to our coverage from everything from the local school system to with the obama administration is doing. second, we have a large and growing national audience.
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90% of our page views are outside the market and we have never spent $1 marketing ourselves out of this market. our job is to serve these two audiences and to do it on multiple platforms at the same time the cut costs and explore new -- new ways to invest in technology trade is a tall order, but that is what we're doing great we were one of the first papers to invest heavily in building a web site. our reporters are on facebook and twitter. we won an emmy for a video. we're trying to enhance what they have always done, which is good storytelling. which is formed a new unit in the newsroom which is going to do just that, multimedia storytelling. people often ask me if i believe we're going to have printed newspapers and the future. the answer is that i do not know but they will be around for many years to come. i do believe that good
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storytelling will be around for as long as humans are honored. as i said earlier, we also believe that there will also be an appetite for quality journalism and fast, accurate insightful news and opinions. we can debate whether "the washington post" will also be on newsprint, but there is no debate that we will always stand for excellence in journalism no matter what the platform. there are two reasons i believe this. first, i really believe in what we do. that is to publish first class journalism that sheds light on the world around us and sometimes just helps us live our own lives or entertains us. second, i firmly believe that we've at "the washington post" are positioned to weather the storm and to take advantage of it to add about -- to evolve our business for the future. technology will be critical but so will great content and a great strategy. technology alone is not enough. in short, we have our work cut out for a spree the world is changing fast and we face tough
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competition. -- we have our work cut out for us. the world is changing fast and we have to face tough competition. we will not only survive but thrive. as readers and advertisers change their habits and spending respectively, we will meet them wherever they are. as long as we have engaged readers, there will be advertisers who want to reach our readers. i firmly believe that the best days "the washington post" are still ahead of us. thank you for having me. [applause] >> i think you. we would like to open this up for questions that you might have. just as in raise your hand and i will come to you. >> thank you. that was wonderful. as you look at technology allowing journalists to have their own platforms through twitter and other types of
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technology, how real going to address maintaining talents within "the washington post" community when people are going to start establishing their own audiences when they can go out on their own? >> actually, i think the new technology has been great for us because we have always had incredible journalists. some of them often intended to rise and become a really known and faces in the community tree people feel they have a relationship with them. in my ninth, there just to new platforms and a fantastic opportunity -- in my mind, they are just new platforms free we have always had a relationship with television. we have always been on television. i think it helps retain talent because it gives them other platforms. in the very beginning of the internet, some of the journalists were resistance. they did not understand doing extra work.
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it was to write for the paper in it then write a blog -- and then write a blog. now they have new audiences and they get tons of the feedback. they get immediate -- the get an immediate sense of their story and its impact predated and -- the emails for all of the world. sometimes they're angry, but sometimes they are moved and went to give money to someone we've written about. i think it is given our journalists new platforms. >> i have good and bad things for you to ask or tell. the most recent good thing that happened in "the washington post my life washington -- the less reason good thing that happens in my life with "the washington post," as to do with a woman
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getting on the supreme court. this is good for businessmen was what sylvia would always say. -- was what scalia would always say. i ask him if he was aware if he knew women were in business. -- i asked him if he was aware that there were women business owners. that made "the post" because he claimed he only was interested in issues our forefathers would have been interested about. i told him that there were no "foremothers." i also heard his response and that is what your newspaper picked up. his response was, "this woman wants me to throw out the
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constitution." we need a different breed a supreme court justices to understand this current. we live and. the bad story is that my company celebrated their 50th anniversary. we were honored by the greater washington board of trade and received other honors. no mention in "the washington post." i think for a local company that there should be some mention greed >> i'm sorry we're not able to do that. -- there should be some mention of. >> i am sorry we were not able to do that. we try to cover a lot locally, but congratulations. >> hello. you talked earlier about the industry in terms of women and technology. you just talked about limited resources and the struggles of
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your area. what i wanted to know is are you also struggling with having talents coming in the technology area through schools. is there also a struggle to identify those future reporters? >> that is a great question. i think about that question of what. i would say because we are "the washington post" and we are in washington, so far we have not had trouble. in fact, we have an internal class that just started for this summer in a 20 some odd intern's just in the newsroom alone. i'm going to go to a journalism school shortly and i visited colombia recently. the schools are teaching these kids to be multimedia journalists write off the bat. they know how do video, at it, twitter, how to do it all. -- they know how to do video, edit, twitter, how to do not
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operate great journalism, people still care and they want someone to interpret it for them. that is not going to go away. they recognize that the industry has a massive turnaround, but we still have great, young, talented journalists coming to us. >> by work and cisco. -- i work at cisco. i feel like an employee, not just the female. hmm did you have hopes of being a ceo, or did you follow your heart and fall into it? >> it no, i never had hopes to be a ceo and it never crossed my mind.
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i was traded to be a lawyer. that is what i intended to be. this was a happy accident. this is a family business, so i had advantages that other people did not have. no, really one thing led to another. i was a lawyer and then i thought i would try my hand at advertising and i actually love it. one thing led to another. >> you just mentioned the emmy that you won. if you mention your multimedia team. my question is what kind of special value can you provide verses other multimedia like television? obviously, the have more experience or how to do that kind of news? >> that is a quick question agree we're not trying


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