There are a lot of blog posts going around right now about the upheaval in the media space, for example, the link below:
Actually, this is a dialog that has been happening since the Web really took flight as a method for distributing information. Prior to that, traditional media (newspapers, magazines, television) were the only ways by which information was globally disseminated.
But let’s take a closer look at “news” before we put the nail in the coffin of traditional media.
News, by nature, is intended to be impartial. Some philosophers and pundits, like McLuhan and Althusser, would say that’s impossible. News, by its nature of being reported by someone, is always infused with that person’s opinions. But let’s put that aside for right now.
In it’s purest form, news represents the facts. Something happened somewhere to someone on some date during some time. It’s pretty generic stuff. In a world where information like that can be tweeted, texted, facebooked, and blogged, the core details of news become irrelevant. I know something happened half-way-around the world from a dozen different sources. Because of this, the source of the news is irrelevant. I don’t have to subscribe to the New York Times or watch Fox 10 if all I want are the facts.
What the global information economy of the Web is transforming is what’s important to us about the news. It’s not the facts. It’s the opinion. Consider this. There are hundreds of newspapers and television shows all reporting the same thing. Why do I consume one and not another? Of course they are both competing for my eyeballs but I have made a choice when I consume news. I chose to one over another. I would argue that’s largely because of the opinions of the news agencies. I find myself in agreement with HOW the news is reported by one channel or paper over another. And that’s what I’ll pay for in the new media economy.
I am not going to shell out $9.99/mo for a newspaper subscription because I can get that information anywhere. But I will shell out $9.99/mo for intelligent, insightful commentary and opinion ABOUT the news.
The old media isn’t dead. They just need to understand that the focus has shifted from the facts to what these people think about the facts.
Originally posted 2013-03-20 16:23:34.