Reuters prez: "Why I believe in the link economy"

Chris Ahearn, President of Media at Thomson Reuters, has an opinion piece out today which amounts to a response to recent hysterical, illogical, and counterproductive acts on the part of Associated Press management with regard to content-sharing online (and "journalism piracy").

To start, yes the global economy is fairly grim and the cyclical aspects of our business are biting extremely hard in the face of the structural changes. But the Internet isn't killing the news business any more than TV killed radio or radio killed the newspaper. Incumbent business leaders in news haven't been keeping up. Many leaders continue to help push the business into the ditch by wasting "resources" (management speak for talented people) on recycling commodity news. Reader habits are changing and vertically curated views need to be meshed with horizontal read-around ones.

Blaming the new leaders or aggregators for disrupting the business of the old leaders, or saber-rattling and threatening to sue are not business strategies - they are personal therapy sessions. Go ask a music executive how well it works.

A better approach is to have a general agreement among community members to treat others' content, business and ideas with the same respect you would want them to treat yours.

If you are doing something that you would object to if others did it to you - stop. If you don't want search engines linking to you, insert code to ban them.

Why I believe in the Link Economy ( We have a linking policy here at Boing Boing, by the way.