Three recent blog posts caught my attention and prompted me to think about the direction media is moving. While I’ve blogged before about the slow-to-change nature of traditional (especially print) media, there is evidence that change is on the horizon.
Each of the following case studies present a different picture of how media is changing:
1. The New York Times recently profiled Voices of San Diego. This in an interesting publication where veteran journalists have banded together to provide investigative stories about local issues. The market niche is clear – these journalists are offering something unique in their coverage that other local papers do not. Plus, other sister publications doing the same sort of journalism are popping up in cities across America. Soon, the Times reports, these independent sites will join together in an association.
2. Chris Brogan recently blogged about his visit to Gannet’s headquarters. The publisher of USA Today and scores of other papers brought Chris to speak with company leadership on the direction of new media and exchange ideas about Gannet’s attempts to change with the times. They might be on to something, as Chris suggests.
3. The New American Foundation hosted Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who presented on the changing media environment and the need for government to embrace the changing media world. I really like what Schmidt had to say and encourage you to listen to his address.
In short, media is at somewhat of a crossroads, and has been for a while. Some publications, like the Chicago papers, are finding out that futilely trying to do what they’ve always done is not getting them anywhere (while ceasing to do some of the things that were actually good journalism). Others, like USA Today and the New York Times, are experimenting and making changes, trying to figure out the balance between professional journalism and new media.
The ones who recognize, as Chris Brogan and Eric Schmidt point out, that their business is information sharing and not newspaper publishing, they will be able to adapt to the business model that works and carries them forward.