The "secret" meeting of U.S. newspaper executives to contemplate new revenue models was "secret" only in not Webcasting it, seemingly. From the moment it was organized by the Newspaper Association of America, it appears journalists did their journalism and figured out who, what, where, when and why.
U.S. rules are different than other countries' rules (see Slate) when it comes to antitrust and monopoly characteristics, so inviting an antitrust lawyer into the meeting had some logic behind it.
Today the Nieman Journalism Lab outlines four principles around the notion of online revenue and firewalls. It's a good companion piece to the mysterious ones involving the meeting. It asserts:
1. Firewalls imperil media value.
2. Firewalls protect print but aren't necessarily aimed at generating revenue.
3. Firewalls aren't necessary binary options of yes or no, but perhaps options within larger offerings.
4. Firewalls might be the future of newspapers but not necessarily news.