Transcript: John Huey, Martin Nisenholtz, Paul Sagan, and Walter Isaacson

July 24, 2013: 3:59 PM ET

On July 24, Fortune hosted a panel at its Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colo. on the future of journalism with Harvard Shorenstein fellow John Huey, Columbia Journalism professor Martin Nisenholtz, Akamai Technologies executive chairman Paul Sagan, and The Aspen Institute's Walter Isaacson. Below is an unedited transcript of the conversation. 

JESSI HEMPEL:  So now we are thrilled to have returned to Aspen again for Brainstorm TECH this year, it's only fitting that the moderator for our final panel is the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute Walter Isaacson, here to explore the Epic Collision of Journalism and Digital, a topic we all care a lot about.  Please welcome Walter and his distinguished panelists.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Thank you.

This is the barbershop quartet we always end conferences with, the old people at the barbershop.  Let me tell you a story, in early 1992, when I was editor of Time, and did technology and science and business, one of our writers turned me on to The Well, which was, as you remember, the old community system before America Online, and Prodigy, and those sort of things.  And it was a true online community.  And it seemed to me that we could start putting things of our magazine and create communities around discussions around what we were doing, our journalism, in some ways even crowd source our journalism.

After we did that, we moved on to things like AOL, CompuServe, Prodigy that were still community services, but a little bit walled gardens.  I think a weird thing happened a couple of years later when I think some of us were discussing it, including Louis Rossetto of Wired, we decided how do you get away from these walled gardens, onto the Internet directly, and there were three or four options, Send, Fetch, Gopher, Archie, Veronica, FTP, and the World Wide Web, which was new at the time because the Mosaic browser had just come out, new at least to consumers.

We put it on the web, we lost the notion of community.  All of a sudden we just started putting our content online, and maybe there was some junkie comments at the bottom, but it was no longer a community site.  We also committed what some say is the original sin in journalism was I think Paul and I were working on it at the time, something called RoadRunner, Pathfinder, and other things.  We were going to say, if you want to subscribe, if you want Time Magazine, or all of our new products, like Virtual Gardens, and things we were doing, you'd pay us a little bit of money.

Instead young advertising executives from Madison Avenue came rushing across Fifth Avenue to the Time-Life Building with bags of money to dump it on our desk so that we would put banner ads on whatever we were putting online.  We said, well, this is too easy.  We will never charge for things because we want eyeballs.  And that was the beginning of the decline of journalism.

John Huey on my right was editor of Fortune when I was editor of Time.  Martin Nisenholtz was for many years the chief digital guru at The New York Times, and is still a counselor there for digital.  And Paul Sagan, as I mentioned, was a partner of mine when I was at Time Inc. New Media, went on to be the CEO of Akamai.  And, oddly enough, all three of them went into a witness protection program called the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and they found each other there, and decided to do an oral history project on how all this worked.

So that's my long introduction.  Let me turn it over to Paul and say, what was the Riptide, tell us about the Riptide Project?

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PAUL SAGAN:  So we all got there and decided we didn't just want to write a whitepaper.  And we had different views of having lived through the same 20 or 25 years of the collision of digital technology and journalism, which was the world we all came out of and loved, and we really wanted to understand what had happened, and could we learn something from it, and maybe it would give some roadmap to the future.  And we went out and started talking to the principals who had lived through it, disrupters, early players, traditional media players, and captured about 70 hours of video of them telling their stories.  And we're going to launch that on the web at DigitalRiptide.org on September 9th.  There's an excerpt in this issue of Fortune.

And we really tried to understand were there seminal things that happened.  Was there original sin or not.  Could the journalism organizations have done something different, or did something fundamentally happen and disrupt the world, and what might come next?

WALTER ISAACSON:  So, Huey, you wander into the Kennedy School and see Sagan.  You're kind of surprised, what do you do?

JOHN HUEY:  Well, I was very happy to see Paul, and I had always ‑‑ I didn't know Martin but I had always tried to figure out a way to hire him as a consultant at Time Inc., but Arthur wouldn't let him work there.  So I guess my role was I sort of led the revolution against collaboration.  And we said, we're going to collaborate, and we're going to do this, and we're going to discover.  We tried to keep it academic but journalistic at the same time.

WALTER ISAACSON:  So there are 90 interviews, if I remember correctly.

JOHN HUEY:  Sixty.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Sixty interviews.

JOHN HUEY:  And then a long narrative that tries to put it into context, and a lot of documents including we interviewed Walter, and Walter very kindly and generously gave us all of his e-mail from the period when he was running the new media at Time Inc.  And so it's the beginning of an archive that we hope will be a living history of this thing.

Which brings up a question, which is how many people save their e-mails?

WALTER ISAACSON:  How many of you could get your e-mails from 1990?  (Show of hands.)  Every time I try to get mine, they're in Turkish Unicode and I've got to fid the new IT director wherever I am to translate them back into text.  Raise your hands again?  (Show of hands.)  So maybe 5 percent of you.

It is astonishing to me that archives and libraries in America today are trying to get Bill Gates' papers, or Arthur Rock's' papers, but whenever I interview them and I say have you asked for Bill Gates' e-mails, or Arthur Rock's e-mails, they're much more important than whatever fake memos.  And I think we're losing that.  And this is why this project at Harvard is particularly good.

Martin, do you want to add anything, or maybe I could ask you about the original sin question.

MARTIN NISENHOLTZ:  Well, that was one of the seminal questions that we began with.  As Paul said, could something have changed, or would something have changed if there had been a different set of decisions made in the mid-'90s.  We didn't come to any clear conclusions about that because it's impossible to know what would have happened if it hadn't happened.  But I think it's safe to say that, at least from my perspective, that was not a hugely material set of decisions.  But others might disagree.

PAUL SAGAN:  I'd go farther to say it would have been impossible.  You would have made yourself irrelevant by creating today what you'd call a pay wall, because a few things happened, and it was the classic innovator's dilemma and then disruption from the outside.  There were forces like Reuters who had no stake in the game here, who sold their wires to Yahoo! who wasn't in the news business, but they wanted content for page views, which was the currency at the time.  And once that kind of commodity news, if you will, was set free on the web, and users found it rapidly, there was no other model.

MARTIN NISENHOLTZ:  Right.  The pushback I always got to that was The Wall Street Journal, of course, because The Wall Street Journal was the one journalistic entity that did charge from the very beginning.  And as someone said in the TV panel this morning, sometimes there are two right answers.  And I think yours is a right answer.  And I think for the Journal at the time it was probably the right answer for them to charge.

JOHN HUEY:  I think what was interesting is with the three of us we had a principal in all of this.  Martin was one of the people making the decisions about pay walls and all that.  Paul had been both a journalist and a high level Internet executive.  And I was just 40 years a journalist, and a business journalist.  So we all came at it, we started out kind of a little bit arguing about what we thought.  And then we sort of turned it over to these 50 people who were there and let them tell the story.

And in the end I think we all came to agree on just about everything that, yes, people could have made decisions.  I mean Jerry Levin could have not done the AOL deal, and that would have made a difference to Time-Warner shareholders, but it wouldn't have ultimately made any difference to the disposition of journalism, or content on the Internet, or any of that.

And that's where we came up with the name Riptide, because you're an ocean swimmer, you know.  The strongest swimmer in the world can get in a riptide and just go out to sea.

WALTER ISAACSON:  And there was nothing that came out of the 60 interviews that said we probably should have done this differently?

PAUL SAGAN:  I think the disruption was fundamental.  And it's interesting, some of the earliest players who were disrupted, like Knight Ridder, which doesn't exist anymore, saw it earliest, worked the hardest, experimented the most, really built a prototype of an iPad and demonstrated it basically made out of wood years before.  The problem was, you couldn't actually build one then, and their peak budget was a million dollars, which wouldn't have been the sushi budget in the Apple cafeteria probably.  So they simply never could have gotten there, but they tried.

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And so I think it was a case of some weak swimmers just get washed back up on shore, some strong ones get taken out, but the disruption because of those who had no stake in the game, like the Yahoo!-Reuters example, and others, changed the game.  And some others got it right.

One big change or one big thing that we discovered, I think we knew it intuitively, was how important engineering was to this change, and none of these companies really had engineers.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Over and over again, I read most of the oral histories, in the transcripts it says the reason you guys, meaning old media types, screwed up is you didn't have engineers.

MARTIN NISENHOLTZ:  The one person who really pushed back on that was Tim Berners-Lee, and the thing that was common about every interview was this notion of the innovator's dilemma, Clay Christensen's notion, he's a professor at the Harvard Business School.  And one piece of that is, is the web or is it the journalism it was sustaining.  The journalism is spread far and wide now.

WALTER ISAACSON:  More and better journalism now than ever.

MARTIN NISENHOLTZ:  But, Walter, for the advertising it was disruptive.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Correct.

MARTIN NISENHOLTZ:  And so the oxygen got taken out of the financial model at the same time that as the journalism was bigger than ever.  So it wasn't like a buggy where the basic product disappeared.  It was sort of the underlying business model that shifted.

JOHN HUEY:  And also the fact that it disaggregated all the news.  I mean, the business model had built around a newspaper, say, where everything is in there.  There's news but there's also obituaries, classified advertising, sports, all that got disaggregated into verticals, and there's no business model left for the newspapers.

WALTER ISAACSON:  And is the web and I should say digital networking inherently disaggregating, or will bundling of things ever work in the digital realm again?

MARTIN NISENHOLTZ:  Well, there are new bundles.  I mean, in some ways FlipBoard is a new kind of bundle.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Although the New York Times is an old type of bundle, and I subscribe, and it's doing quite well they say.

MARTIN NISENHOLTZ:  Exactly.  So I think the other thing that we found is that all of these places aren't equal.  I mean CNN has a model.  The New York Times has a model, the Financial Times has a model.  Clearly the most problematic part o the business is in metropolitan journalism, it's in big city journalism.  So the Chicago Tribune, et cetera.

JOHN HUEY:  To the point that you made earlier, one of the surprises, and I think one of the interesting things about this for me was, having been in the business 40 years, I didn't expect to be surprised by very much.  I was actually surprised by a lot.  And the fact that Tribune and Knight Ridder were both way out front of the curve, but it's Paul's line about pioneers get killed and settlers get the land.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Give the line, because it's better the way you utter it.

PAUL SAGAN:  It's no longer probably a politically correct line and we're being web cast, but yes pioneers get arrows and settlers get land.  And there were a lot of pioneers and settlers get land.  And there were a lot of pioneers and they were traditionalists and they got killed out there.  And other people settled the land that ‑‑

JOHN HUEY:  But, the idea that metro dailies didn't see this coming or they were luddites or something is completely wrong.  They were way to there.  They invested a lot of money.  The lost a lot of money.  Then they withdrew into their shell and got crushed, but there's no evidence that if they kept going it would have ultimately worked for them.

WALTER ISAACSON:  But, is there a second mover's advantage in media dealing with the web?

MARTIN NISENHOLTZ:  I think some cases, but I don't think it's fundamental.  I think your question of does bundling stay, there are lots of bundles people value and they even pay for some of them or they get advertising.  What got disaggregated was the monopoly rent bundle that went with it.  So a lot of the golden age of journalism was done when broadcasters and publishers got monopoly rents.  And the one thing the Internet does is it doesn't cut like butter.  The Internet is like a swarm of bees that goes through a picnic and everyone scurries and what we've seen is the disruption of the Internet business models went through the media business and everybody scurried for cover and it settled back in a really different way.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Martin, you just mentioned that Tim Berners-Lee was the guy who pushed back on you.  He also said that embedded in the web, or whatever digital networking protocols you want to use, could have been small payment systems so that the people using the content, the people who created that content would have gotten rewarded.  And, indeed, if you go back to the RFCs, requests for comments, in the '80s, when they were creating the worldwide web, one of the intrinsic things that was going to be built into the web was a way to, just like an ASCAP system in a way, that the creators of content it would be metered and they would get some of the revenues that came from people who went online.  Was that even a possibility, does that make sense now?  Is that a future possibility?

MARTIN NISENHOLTZ:  I think, in fact, if you go look at the era, I think what he says is that that that's something that will evolve.  And I think it will.  There have been a lot of tries at that.  I mean over the years many, many entrepreneurs have tried that kind of micro-payment mechanism for informational content.  Obviously, in a way, there was the very, very good roundtable on micro-payments at this conference, not micro-payments, electronic wallets, essentially at the conference.  And so a lot of that, there's a lot of that stuff going on now, and obviously over the last several years for entertainment content, stuff like iTunes has been very, very successful.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Let's call it easy payments instead of micro-payments.  Would as easy payment, iTune 99 cents system, if somebody creates it, and I've been at dozens of these things for 10 years where people say I've got the easiest payment e-coin system and I keep trying and I still don't have it.  But, if that were to come along, would that create a new golden age of journalism?

PAUL SAGAN:  I don't think so, but I'll let my colleagues ‑‑

JOHN HUEY:  I don't think so, because there's too much free content out there and has been every since Reuter, who was an investor in Yahoo!, decided to do that and CNN, which didn't have any stake in the ‑‑ I mean there's just too many places to get information for free and, you know, while you pay for The New York Times, and I pay for The New York Times I'm not sure that my kids are paying for The New York Times and I don't know.

PAUL SAGAN:  And I think what Martin actually has demonstrated is that a large percentage, or it's a small percentage, but a big number now, will pay for these things and there is an ability to get advertising revenue, and subscription for quality content.  But, I'm not sure asking people to pay a nickel every time is going to add up to enough to make it work.

I'm not pessimistic about lots of journalism, that there will be great journalism, but there are big holes.  One of them is this local question, which we talked about, which is what's going to support urban journalism, and the other is this question of who stands behind the story.  So on the controversial stories, if go back to the Pentagon Papers, as we were talking about, yesterday the Washington Post and New York Times were able to publish that under great pressure and basically dare the government to jail the publishers.  That wasn't going to happen, because of their heft and their size.  That worried me in the future.  Who is going to be big enough to stand up for the really controversial?

WALTER ISAACSON:  Before we go to the audience let me do a whip around on what are you optimistic about?  Why is this not a riptide that will take us under, but an opportunity that will take us forward?

PAUL SAGAN:  More voices able to reach more people more quickly is a tremendously powerful thing.

MARTIN NISENHOLTZ:  Yes, and I just think we're in a period of creative destruction and I have huge faith in the entrepreneurial community in this country and around the world, and I think we will figure it out.

JOHN HUEY:  I think it's going to get worse before it gets better, which is a product of creative destruction.  I don't think the numbers add up very well at a lot of these places, where people are paying for content.  But, like my colleagues, I think that when there is a real void of information it will be filled by journalists and entrepreneurs who will figure out a way around this.  And I haven't a clue what it is, but information will be ‑‑ I'm confident that journalism will remain.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Yes, blue shirt, white shirt, blue shirt, whatever.

QUESTION:  I'm Miguel Helft from Fortune.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Hey, Miguel, sorry.

QUESTION:  You guys touched a little bit on this about the metro problem.  I, before Fortune and The Times, I came from one of the crown jewels of Knight Ridder.  I saw the destruction first hand.  It was pretty painful.  And you can see now, city halls, state houses are not being covered throughout the country.  There are models at work, there are Politicos and Huff Pos, and Buzz Feeds, but at the local level it seems like that doesn't work.  Did anybody reflect on what model might work, the Internet being a business of scale, and a metro area or a city by definition not that scalable?

PAUL SAGAN:  I think it's one of the areas of greatest risk.  When we interviewed Julius Genachowski that's where he went directly and the FCC has talked about that as a risk on the broadcasting, not the print side on its own.  There's no answer to that one yet.

WALTER ISAACSON:  The Knight Foundation is doing a lot of great work on the information needs of community.  I think I saw Charlie Firestone who runs that project here, on the information needs of communities.  I think you have to redefine the problem.  It's not how do you save local newspapers, but how do you create the information needs of communities.  I want to go back to Paul on it, though, because you have family, if I may put you on the spot, for a couple of generations really who ran Chicago area, not hyper-local, but very local papers.

PAUL SAGAN:  My father still publishes one weekly in Hyde Park on the Southside.  Those have strong local identity.  They've had strong local ad bases.  There is some part of that that's untouched by the Internet today, local grocery store shopping, lots of local real estate, some local jobs.  And so there are revenue streams, but as those advertisers consolidate, so in Hyde Park where there used to be three independent grocery stores all needing to advertise on Wednesday, you're down to one, and at some point that may be Walmart, who will do no local advertising.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Amazon.

PAUL SAGAN:  Or Amazon, or even Jewell, and not a really local and that will in the end make those businesses not sustainable, I think, in the current model of preserving them as a piece of paper that gets delivered.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Adam?

QUESTION:  Adam Lashinsky with Fortune.  I'd like to ask any of the four of you, do you think in 10 years we'll still have print newspapers and print magazines for that matter, mainstream print magazines.  And if your answer is no in 10 years, how many years left do you think we have?

WALTER ISAACSON:  Tick, tick, tick, tick, the clock.

JOHN HUEY:  I think we'll still have them.  I don't know what the business models will be.  They may not be mass.  They may be very expensive.  They may be specialized, premium information, but there will still be some general audience print publications.  I think maybe if you ask the question how many news magazines, or print products, straight news the answer might not be so long, in my opinion.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Martin?

MARTIN NISENHOLTZ:  I agree.  I think print is a very efficacious, I think it's very sustainable for the next decade.

PAUL SAGAN:  There will be fewer, but not zero.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Look, print is a wonderful technology, by the way.  Print is a very good medium that has long battery life.  If we had been getting all of our information on screens for the past 450 years or so, electronically, and some latter-day Guttenberg came along and said, hey, I can take all that information you get on the screen and I can put it on paper for you, deliver it to your doorstep, you can take it on the bus, the backyard, the bathtub, or whatever, you'd say, wow, print, that's a really good technology that might start replacing the Internet, right.  (Applause.)  Twenty percent, or 30 percent, I think of books, I mean I write books, I watch which ones are e-books, whatever, I'm agnostic, but I watch.  It will level off so that 20 or 30 percent of people will find it more ‑‑ not people, but 20 or 30 percent of the time you will find it more convenient to have something tactile that you really like, with beautiful pictures laid out.  And sometimes, probably 60-70 percent of the time, you'll prefer it on a tablet.  But, I think we'll get that equilibrium.  It won't be the disappearance.

Sorry, John, did you?

JOHN HUEY:  I'd just like to play devil's advocate for one second on this idea of local news and argue that maybe the existing journalism establishment wasn't doing as good a job as it could have done, anyway.

WALTER ISAACSON:  On local?

JOHN HUEY:  Yes, on local.  For example, most of us, except for our income tax, most of the tax that we pay goes to our school boards.  School board, people run for the school board, because that's where your money is.  And the first thing I ever covered in journalism was a school board, and I went, wow, these people are all crooks, they're not interesting in education, they're here for the janitorial contracts, and all this.  And yet, most local newspapers, and neighborhood newspapers didn't do a very good job of covering that anyway.  I'll bet most of you don't know who is on your school board and when you go to vote for the president you have to vote for the school board and you go, who are these people, I should have figured this out, because they're getting all my money.  So it's always possible that in the absence of local journalism somebody will say, well, I'm just going to take on the school board thing and I'm going to explain everything.

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WALTER ISAACSON:  And we see that happening.

JOHN HUEY:  Explain to everybody, that's where your money is, and I don't know if that's a business, but I'm just saying maybe journalism ‑‑

WALTER ISAACSON:  That's an old time, the golden age, but I too began my journalism career at The New Orleans Times Picayune covering the assessor, city planning commission, and school board.  And nowadays, when I say nowadays 10, 15 years ago that wasn't happening.  But, nowadays you actually have it happening.  There are a lot of people in New Orleans digitally there for the city planning commission meetings, and even the recovery school district meetings.

Yes, I see a hand.  I see a mike.  I see a white shirt.

QUESTION:  Hi, Sharon Waxman from The Wrap, hi.  So, John, it's great to see you again.  The conversation I had with you six years ago was the last substantive print conversation I had before I decided to start The Wrap, leave The New York Times and go into digital journalism.

WALTER ISAACSON:  I guess I wasn't so optimistic.

QUESTION:  It was a very memorable conversation, actually, and I appreciated what you said at the time.  My concern then, my concern now still is that it seemed to me that journalism was going to be a profession that fewer people get to exercise, not that we wouldn't have journalists, but fewer of us get to do it.  That was a time five years ago when lots of newsrooms were contracting, and they're still contracting.  I'd love to hear from the three of you, or four of you actually, Walter obviously, as well, where you feel young journalists are going to get the training to learn to be journalists.  It's one of the things we focus on a lot at The Wrap, because we pride ourselves on training young people.  There aren't a lot of places where they can make mistakes and have somebody teach them how to do it right.

JOHN HUEY:  Bloomberg.

MARTIN NISENHOLTZ:  The Wrap.

JOHN HUEY:  The Wrap, Paul?

PAUL SAGAN:  The new organizations that are hiring them, look at Business Insider, Huff Po, places where people are trying new things.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Buzz Feed.

PAUL SAGAN:  Yes, they will have to learn how to create their training ground, how to integrate with journalism schools, how do those schools evolve.  And television hasn't done a great job at it for a long time, there's just start in a small market, maybe get to a bigger market, but it wasn't really a training ground for great journalism in many, many cases.  So it's tempting to be nostalgic, and I don't think we should, because there are many things that we as an industry didn't do really well.  Maybe in this disruption we'll get it right, or do it better the next time.

WALTER ISAACSON:  I see a hand.

QUESTION:  It's me, Walter.

WALTER ISAACSON:  David Kenny.

QUESTION:  How are you?  First of all I want to give people a Weather Forecast, be careful it's going to have lightning today.  More importantly, this sounds a little bit like an American conversation.  During that same two decades there were a lot of efforts, and a lot more government involvement in journalism around the world.  And I continue, because we publish worldwide, to see governments getting involved to save journalism, or to control it.  Did you look at the non-U.S. models and was there anything different that you learned there, or clues about what's going to happen outside the United States in journalism in the next decade?

PAUL SAGAN:  So we can take David's application to be a Shorenstein Fellow back with us, because no, we didn't.  We didn't.  We didn't spent a lot to time and there are big holes that in one term we didn't cover.  And that would be one of them, which is models in other places.  And there are lots of places, like India, where there is thriving journalism right now with an expanding middle class and much of it we think is traditional, lots of newspapers.

MARTIN NISENHOLTZ:  And part of the reason we wanted to publish this as a website, and not a white paper, is that we didn't want it to become instantly a part of the history.  So we see it as a kind of platform that has a life going forward, and we hope that Shorenstein will bring on new fellows to do international, to do other pieces, and to build it over time.

WALTER ISAACSON:  Yes, other questions?

Let me build on what Martin just said, and ask all three of you to sort of conclude by saying what did you really learn and what is this project?  How can people access it?  What should they do with it?  It seems like Harvard now has the only real growing repository and I hope living, not just a white paper, but Wikified, crowd-sourced, living archive of the intersection of media and technology.

PAUL SAGAN:  Well, you just answered ‑‑

WALTER ISAACSON:  Yes, but Paul, just tell ‑‑

MARTIN NISENHOLTZ:  Circle 9-9, go to DigitalRiptide.org any time after that, and start ‑‑

WALTER ISAACSON:  I'm sorry, when?

MARTIN NISENHOLTZ:  September 9th, DigitalRiptide.org, or got to Shorenstein Center, or the Kennedy School, Martin's tweets, go to Harvard, and start watching these videos, or the transcripts are there, verbatim, so that they can be searched and people can start plowing into these issues, find others, and expand on it.  There are a lot of people here who probably have artifacts that ought to be sent in and encourage people to put them up, and hopefully it becomes a place that will have a blog.  It will have live debate, where some of these issues can get aired in a place that's good to discuss them in an ongoing way, because there are no simple answers.

WALTER ISAACSON:  John?

JOHN HUEY:  Well, I fell in love with the whole idea of oral history.  And I realized, like I say, there were all these surprises in it for me, and I realized it isn't.  Oral history isn't history; it's sort of the beginning of history.  It's a bunch of people telling their stories in Rashomon-like fashion and some day somebody, for important reasons, is going to want to know what happened here.

WALTER ISAACSON:  And you've started to write a bit of a narrative out of it, right, which is also the second?

JOHN HUEY:  We have a big narrative that kind of explains what we think the context of it is.  But we let the people tell their stories.  And I think it's the kind of thing that you can't go look at once and read the whole thing and say, okay, I understand it.  If you're interested in the topic, it's the kind of thing you go back to and you say, well, this guy said something interesting maybe I'll read more of his interview.

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Will Hearst's interview is great.  Ted Leonsis' interview is unbelievable.  You just turn Ted on, and he goes, and then you turn him off.  And the history of some of these, looking back at the primitive, the videos that we have hanging on there of these demos for early news efforts, I fell in love with the whole idea of everybody saying, well, here's how I remember it.

WALTER ISAACSON:  And people will someday be able to upload their own memories, their own archives, whatever, and this will be a living archive.

JOHN HUEY:  And we've made provisions for that, I think.

PAUL SAGAN:  In our wills.

WALTER ISAACSON:  People should apply to become Shorenstein Fellows at Harvard so that they can continue this project.  Thank you all for doing it.  We appreciate it.

(Applause.)

END

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