News Is Evolving

29 03 2008

Demarcationville gets it. Some of the things I’ve been talking about for the last five years, she has managed to put in one post.

And if news sites and blogs aren’t real news, what are they then? Speculation? Pretend? The Dark Side? A passing fancy? Holy shit, someone should alert all major markets because most have invested loads of money in developing a user-friendly, multi-media formats.

They obviously have no clue this is all an illusion!

Can I just say I find this attitude incredibly frustrating? I am losing my ability to feel sympathetic here.

These changes in the market were NOT sudden. This wasn’t something unforeseen or unpredictable. The consumer shift from traditional media to online outlets has been occurring gradually for years now.

We’ve talked about this many, many times.

I’ve pulled my Paul Revere of the Press: “The Internet is Coming. The Internet is coming. We must develop a plan!”

The standard reply has been: (scoff) “We are a reputable newspaper. We are not in the business (shudder, snort) of running a website. That is not what we do. That is not our primary focus.”

Well, la-di-da.

And how is that working out for ya? Since online news is no longer popular as much as it is commonplace – have we arrived at a point yet where we accept newspapers either get with the program(ing) or try not to let the door hit em in their reputable asses on the way out?

I’ve been preaching this for years. For YEARS. I recently did an informal study of the local college in the area and there were more kids on Facebook and MySpace then I could keep count of. That, my friends, is the generation that will be buying advertising in five to ten years.

When folks have video on their cell phone and $100 cameras, anyone can break a story. It’s not a fly-by-night thing, it the way of the world now.

But alas, one can only be a preacher for so long without a local congregation.

Change is hard. Some of us know, however, and if/when it hits the pocketbook, then I think we will start seeing proactive maneuvering. Old School still clashes with the realities of technology and communication tools changing daily.

It’s not a new school, it’s just the way that it is.

Here’s the thing, it can’t be just done in a reporter’s spare time now or a secretary uploading content. Positions in the newsroom are evolving. I shoot video now but I’m having to train myself how to edit just like I did when radio through out the vinyl and reel-to-reels. I’ve destroyed a ton of content during the learning process but I’m trying to learn it nonetheless. It has to be it’s own entity. Larger newspapers know this. Smaller newspapers will have to recognize it soon and some of them are.

I’m 42 years old and I’ve seen a ton of changes in the past 24 years. Ever use wax and paste. I have. Even know what that is other than something spoke of fondly in Journalism 101 classes? Angela and John do.

Angela also says this which I agree with. Her post was incredible and you need to go read it all and she makes a good point here.

I believe there’s a way for the markets to not only coexist – but complement each other. In fact, I think they must.

I don’t think newspapers are dead by a long shot. But I do think they are going to have to quit living in denial. Als0, Put Demarcationville in your RSS feeds immediately.

Here is an example of how fast news spreads. Yesterday, Killa told me of a lockdown due to a bomb threat at MTSU that she had heard about on her RSS. I put it on Twitter, Rachel Walden at Women’s Health News sent me a link to a message alert she had and within fifteen minutes, Christian Grantham picked it up and was making phone calls about it. Lissa Kay also talked to us from East Tennessee about it on Twitter. Here is the story at WKRN.

Newspapers, this is the new world of communication and how news is evolving.

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Ferris Bueller




5 responses

29 03 2008

Well, if it helps – after reading this post, I said Amen – twice.

29 03 2008

It was a great post.
Amen back at you.

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