I'm engrossed with what's happening in the News Media Industry right now. I think that the shift to the internet is just as exciting as Gutenberg and has the potential to determine a radical new means of information distribution. As we are in the midsts of the Information Age, I'm fairly certain that methods of creating and spreading new information are not only critical, but trend towards huge monetary and popular success.
I look at Google, News Corp., TMZ, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and a host of other tools that have entered the online space; I not only applaud their success, but am engrossed with finding a solution to allow newspapers to match them.
Surely, newspapers, who are the very embodiment of news, journalism and act as society's information archive can find a way to adapt to this new medium?
The decline in advertising, fueled by a weak real estate market, has boosted the copy-to-ads ratio above the industry target of 50-50, giving readers more stories than they can digest, while the paper competes for attention with the Internet and TV, editor Russ Stanton said.
Quotes like that don't give me any hope. Jeff Jarvis's post got me thinking. I am more aware of the troubles newspapers are facing than the vast majority of the US public. I care if they 'give a party' or not. But, that doesn't mean that the public would care.
Many newspapers are trying to adapt, but it's an uphill battle, especially when faced with corporate owners like Sam Zell. Some, like The Guardian are very attuned to the change and have a good shot at making it. Yet, there are so many smaller papers, with less resources that are struggling.
I'm a strong believer in the free market. If a product isn't up to standards, people will look elsewhere. My concern, is that the standards that journalists hold themselves to aren't valued by the US populace – who seem more interested in Paris Hilton and the latest sex scandals than what is actually happening in the world.
No matter that the next president of the US will affect their lives a lot more than Bardgelina's baby. If the demand is for infotainment, and not for journalism, then the supply of the former will increase at the detriment of the latter.
I'm not without hope yet, on the contrary, I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I think that some major newspapers are starting to get 'it.' I think that some of the bad choices made now are going to put an end to the News Business and re-raise Journalism.
I value the Fourth Estate as a necessary part of our republic, and I trust that there is a minimum level of journalistic news and integrity that the US population demands. I trust that though the product may change, the market will correct itself – even if the supply needs to dip for a while.
Here's to the rise of the New Media, the hope that newspapers can find their place, and trust in the masses.