Tina Brown: ‘We do not have enough respect for content anymore’

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Daily Beast and Newsweek editor Tina Brown tells Bloomberg TV that “we’re living in a time when everybody is so obsessed with delivery systems and gaming systems and business. It is actually very, very soul destroying. We do not have enough respect for content anymore.

“In the end, without the great content there are no numbers. You see again and again in the media this obsession with the numbers, this obsession with the audiences, this obsession with the demo, without the talent without the people who do it your company is worth nothing.”

She added that “there is less respect for the editorial process then there ever was amongst business folks … and there must be some respect for the integrity of news or we will be a very ill-informed nation.”

Being ahead of the curve: “Sometimes you can be ahead of the curve too. At certain times in my career I’ve done things talkwhich I now see were the right things, but they were done too early. So you also have to make sure your timing is right. I think some of the concept I had with a company I started — Talk Media – was actually right. It was about a synergy between print and books and TV and so on, but at that time it was too early a concept. Now that’s kind of what everybody wants to do.”

More from Brown’s interview after the jump.

(Excerpts provided by Bloomberg TV)

Tina Brown on having it all:
It is such a tired concept. I think you should be living a life passion and fulfillment and whether you consider it all or not, it is sort of irrelevant. It is about are you are fulfilled at that moment? And that is the important thing not trying to grittily make an assessment if you can check all these boxes.

On being an over-achiever and what turns her on:
I’ve always loved what I am doing. Even when it’s bad it’s good. I love my work. There is always a story that came in or a picture I love or something I just read. I get very turned on by the material. As long as I have great material I really do not care when I’m doing it.

On the need for good content:
We’re living in a time when everybody is so obsessed with delivery systems and gaming systems and business. It is actually very, very soul destroying. We do not have enough respect for content anymore. In the end, without the great content they’re no numbers. You see again and again in the media this obsession with the numbers, this obsession with the audiences, this obsession with the demo, without the talent without the people who do it your company is worth nothing.

On whether we have lost integrity of news:
Yes, we actually have. There is less respect for the editorial process then there ever was amongst business folks. The people who write the checks basically think there is less of a sense that editorial people can have some integrity and stay aloof and say this is business and this is news and many people in media profession feel like too much of that has been eroded and there must be some respect for the integrity of news or we will be a very ill-informed nation.

On how we get our integrity back:
I think those of us in the content business have to continue to be absolute warriors of truth. You have to decide you will hold certain lines and make a stand. People who are prepared to take a stand are few and far between.

On respect for Barbara Walters:
I was thinking about her career and how much she stood for innovation and in her own way making her stance. There are not many people who can say that about themselves and we need to respect the ones that do.

On the importance of being disruptive:
True disruption is never greeted with open arms … being a disrupter means you have to persuade other people that you are not just crazy. Sometimes you can be ahead of the curve. I have done things which I now say were the right things.

* “>Watch Tina Brown’s interview with Bloomberg TV (bloomberg.com)

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