If you’re a journalist, as I am, you are probably worried about the future of newspapers and journalism in general. The net, the loss of advertising revenue and general fragmentation of readers means has had a damaging effect on readership, revenues and jobs. The answer? Well, from what I’ve read, there’s no simple, or single, answer.
John Paton writes about how to save newspapers Old Dogs New Tricks and Crappy Newspaper Executives on his Digital First blog and says he’s embraced the net and faced up to the realities of newspaper publishing and the internet. But this long-time journo has some interesting ideas: namely, involving local citizens, going digital first and working as a brand. I think it’s a hyped in its dire predictions but he puts some good ideas.
Online stories today that do not link are now considered inferior by consumers. News companies, as brands, cheapen and destroy themselves if they do not allow the social interaction that society now demands of the new digital tool set.
Marshall McLuhan knew this when he said the Medium Is The Message.
In the news business, particularly a legacy business like newspapers, if we don’t understand this and take advantage of the Medium’s potential we will cease to be the Messenger.
And it is in this role of Messenger that we have tied up our ideas of brand values.
– A Messenger the community can trust.
– A Messenger known for its accuracy, integrity, etc.
But what does it mean to be the Messenger in today’s new news ecology where the people we used to call the Audience are now equally participants, competitors, colleagues, arbiters and sources?
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about newspapers in the internet age. My last blog post Newspapers in the Internet Age talked about ideas for how newspapers can survive into the future. I guess I am worried about my future career, if you were wondering. I don’t think this will be the last post on this topic.