Is the Changing Media Landscape a Boom or Bust?

BoombustI had the privelege of submitting a post for CommPRObiz, a news hub for 75,000 C-suite and communications professionals, according to the ProfNet description. My topic, which ran yesterday, was a response to the recent Huffington Post story: Courting Controversy has Not Only Made Media Redundant; it’s Skewed the News

In that piece Lorraine Devon Wilke deplored the state of media today and blamed the usual suspects: our short attention spans, social media, and a relentless focus on the next big story, regardless of its significance or whether its aready been done to death.

She made some excellent points, but I argued that there is a bright side (here's an excerpt from my post):

…this reality, which gives us BuzzFeed memes, viral headlines and click bait; and half-baked stories, rushed out to beat the competition; and rehashed content; also makes possible citizen/fringe journalism, the kinds that help solve crimes; and out corporate and political malfeasance. It gives us open science / data / government, and crowdsourced innovation and funding… a “skewed news world” presents opportunities for marketers who can mine the media noise and influencer chatter; technology vendors to help with the same; consumers in search of information; and for publications to pioneer new models.

Since my post came out I have seen other very significant articles that relate to the topic (the first two should be of great interest to the tech sector, as the cited stories go into detail about tech media):

  • The Wall Street Journal wrote that ad dollars are getting stretched thin as news websites proliferate; according to the story: Helping drive the latest boom is a belief that established news media outlets, including websites of newspaper and magazines, don't much appeal to younger people who rely on social media or other newer outlets for their news.
  • David Carr of the New York TImes wrote two relevant pieces within the past few days: Ezra Klein Is Joining Vox Media as Web Journalism Asserts Itself and Web Journalism: Bubble, or Lasting Business? His articles cover the migration of top reporters to Web news properties, the tension between original reporting and aggregation, impact on news reporting, and the growing importance of branded content advertising vs. commodity banner and disply ads.
  • A Media Post Search Insider story supported one of the tenets of the Huffington Post story; amidst all the noise, we are misinformed, and ignoring data about what is truly important: In a recent poll by The Wall Street Journal, out of a list of 15 things that Americans believed should be top priorities for President Obama and Congress, climate change came out dead last, behind pension reform, Iran’s nuclear program and immigration legislation. Yet, if we look at the data… quantifying the biggest threats to our existence, climate change is consistently near the top.

In closing I'd like to thank Fay Shapiro of CommPRObiz for the opportunity – she ws a pleasure to work with – and my friend Judy Gombita for turning me onto the site.

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