Saturday, March 14, 2009

Old Growth Media And The Future Of News

In the last few months I have written about the change that is happening in Marketing and Branding and how the traditional mediums of radio TV and news are being affected by the internet.

I am posting this article as it does a great job of walking though the last twenty years of technology and how it has changed what we have come to expect from journalist and the explanation of their survival moving forward.

Donald Robichaud - FloodLight Consulting
The following is a speech given at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin by Steve Berlin Johnson
If you happened to being hanging out in front of the old College Hill Bookstore in Providence Rhode Island in 1987, on the third week of every month you would have seen a skinny 19-year-old in baggy pants, sporting a vaguely Morrissey-like haircut, walking into the bookstore several times a day.
That kid was me. I wish I could tell you that I was making those compulsive return visits out of a passionate love of books. While I do, in fact, have a passionate love of books, and bought plenty of them during my college years, I was making those tactical strikes on the College Hill Bookstore for another reason.

I was looking for the latest issue of MacWorld.

I had learned from experience that new issues of the monthly magazine devoted to all things Macintosh arrived at College Hill reliably in the third week of the month. Yes, you could subscribe, but for some reason, subscription copies tended to arrive a few days later than the copies in the College Hill bookstore. And so when that time of the month rolled around, I’d organize my week around regular check-ins at College Hill to see if a shipment of MacWorlds had landed on their magazine rack.
This was obsessive behavior, I admit, but not entirely irrational. It was the result of a kind of imbalance: not a chemical imbalance, an information imbalance. To understand what I want to say about the future of the news ecosystem, it’s essential that we travel back to my holding pattern outside the College Hill Bookstore -- which continued unabated, by the way, for three years. It’s essential to travel back because we’re in the middle of an epic conversation about the potentially devastating effect that the web is having on our news institutions. And so if we’re going to have a responsible conversation about the future of news, we need to start by talking about the past.
We need to be reminded of what life was like before the web.
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