Tuesday, July 20, 2010

PBS looks at online journalism

PBS's MediaShift has started what it promises will be a weeklong online series (with links) on the emerging media landscape. It promises to be well worth reading (there's that word again, reading; just doesn't seem to go away no matter how often its demise is predicted).

Better times ahead for media?

Agencies predict better times ahead for media -- except for newspapers.

The analysis, from two leading marketing firms, predict growth in advertising and revenues for media as the worldwide economy stabilizes. Print advertising is projected to continue to decline, but stabilize by 2012. Newspapers, while doing very well in developing countries, are seen as in a deep downward spiral.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Burnout hurting new media

I've felt for some time that the biggest threat to newspapers was their own managers. I watched as newspapers cut deeply into content in search of ever-more "savings," often while raising the prices they charged at the same time (see Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). Let's see, hummm, less content for a higher price. Yep, sounds like a winning strategy to me. (Note to newspaper managers: the preceding two sentences are satire.)

Now comes a story that indicates new media are just as stupid. It's a New York Times story already behind its pay wall, but available easily by searching Nexus or just Googling key words. Its first page is here. The story describes about how various new media sites -- especially Politico -- are pressuring writers to constantly add material to their stories so Google bots will update the stories and the site will get more hits. Quality? Don't worry about it. Added value? No problem. Writer burnout? We'll just hire more.

I love journalism, and I believe new media tools are adding greatly to journalism. But I've yet to see any sign that the media industry really has a clue. Sure, it will eventually settle down to a profitable model based on actually providing information. But I worry about the incredibly-poor judgement in newsrooms and what will happen to the greater public good before the industry managers get a clue.