A little while ago, someone started a Twitter account with the name TheMediaIsDying.

Although their bio says that their aim is to help “flaks pitch better and update lists,they seem to take delight in reporting they primarily seem to report on stories of print, broadcast and web outlets that are folding or cutting staff as a result of the rapidly changing media and economic landscapes.

To make the claim that the media is dying is to make the claim that it will no longer be possible to receive news or entertainment.

Yes, I’d agree that the traditional media is probably dying. I feel that I’ll probably see the death of the traditional, printed newspaper in my life time. In fact, I can’t believe that it isn’t dead already. Someone wiser than myself once made the point that if today you proposed the idea of printing out thousands of copies of a general assortment of news every night, then hand-delivering them to people’s homes early each morning, you’d be laughed out of the room. It is an outdated business model.

But that doesn’t mean the newspaper industry will die, only its printed form. The websites of major newspapers are and will continue to be a primary source of information for many people. Thanks to the hard work of people like Mathew Ingram (and despite the head-in-ass stance of people like Christie Blatchford), newspapers will evolve to meet the needs of an online world.

The same goes for other forms of media. While JPG Magazine might be folding, how many great photography sites and online photoshop tutorials have you come across?

As I Tweeted earlier, For every print publication that @themediaisdying reports dead, how many well-written, unique websites pop up?

Did the invention of the printing press kill off the spoken word? No. It just meant that hand-lettered books were no longer necessary, and it gave more people access to literature and information.

Did the invention of radio kill off the written word? Again, no.

Did television indeed kill the radio star? No, but it might have forced some radio stars to adapt to become more television-friendly. And it also created a whole knew breed of radio stars.

Did the internet kill television? Again, no. If you’re like me, you might not use an actual television set but you probably still enjoy watching television shows on your computer or portable device.

As a result of cringing and loving to hate almost every single tweet that @themediaisdying makes, I’ve started an alternative twitter account to spread good news about any media organizations,  journalists, broadcasters, writers or videographers that are getting by just fine and adapting to the change we’re seeing in the media world.

So if you’ve got any stories about how the media is changing (rather than dying), hit me up by emailing mediaischanging@blogcampaigning.com or on twitter: @mediaischanging. (and feel free to follow me on twitter, too. I’m @parkernow)

The media isn’t dying, it’s changing.

viva la media!

-Parker

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5 Responses to “The Media isn’t Dying, it’s Changing.”

  • JL:

    I actually love the concept of themediaisdying. In this case, it’s all about traditional/print/news “journalism with the big J”. This sector of the business is traditionally very insular and closed off. Journalists are pretty open about what they do, but behind the scenes, big media, their owners, and the financiers are totally behind the scenes. themediaisdying exposes who’s doing what, and brings a breath of fresh air to the stench of big media. It’s good to know, for example that livejournal is firing people, or x journalist is finally leaving media behemoth xyz, or this and that, because the talent can be located and found by more nimble media organisations and entrepreneurs. Just think, for every experienced journalist that big media fires, that’s a new hire for an organisation that gets it. You call it depressing, I call it good news. It’s just like the big auto corps. You’ve gotta trim it in when the business model’s not working. It’s a sign that the industry is finally moving and opening up.

  • Brad Buset:

    I think the concept of media changing, through whatever means, is a good thing. It’s most likely going to take a fair amount of job losses, bankruptcies etc but what emerges will be an evolved media. This nouveau media will most likely be a mix of editorial content, citizen journalism, real-time and local reporting but I much prefer this to an artificially propped up corporation whom keep their business model viable only through questionable legal tactics (see RIAA).

    JL – the if I read you correctly, you’re thinking something similar. I think we can agree that themediaisdying should really have read themediaisevolvingandthatinvolvesjoblossandcorporatefailures. Of course that’s not nearly as catchy.

  • Brad Buset:

    Figured I’d add this….Mathew Ingram discusses something similar today here (http://tinyurl.com/938ryx) and points to a great article in The Atlantic here (http://tinyurl.com/8ao6r5). Both are worth a read, and discuss within the implication of the web being unable to leverage the reporting/editing infrastructure that large media companies have.

  • Parker Mason Parker:

    Thanks for the comments, guys.
    I think we can all agree that the media is evolving, and will probably look very different in two year, a year and even six months from now.
    JL – I like your point about how every person fired from an organization means that another org. gets that talent.

  • It’s funny, but it seems like everywhere you turn, there’s a is dying movement. On a recent Inside PR, we talked about whether or not the closure of one hosting company meant the impending demise of podcasts. (We all felt it didn’t.)

    Parker, you make an excellent point when you say that media is evolving, or, as Bob Dylan sang a long time ago, ‘the times they are a changin’. However, I don’t agree that print will necessarily go the way of the dodo bird.

    The tactile nature of the medium – whether newspaper, magazine or book – the quiet and contemplative way you read them (i.e. with a coffee or drink, without any external noise; for pleasure as well as for information), is a wonderful experience that’s I don’t feel you get electroncally. Maybe I’m waxing nostalgic (or I am a dinosaur), but I believe that while the print editions certainly will change – and maybe even become more of a premium item, much like hardcover books – they’re not going away.

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