The Media isn't Dying, it's Changing.

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 It is an outdated business model.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 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!


Woof, woof!!

Guest post: Hans Geelmuyden is a partner and leading senior adviser at the norwegian public relations agency Geelmuyden.Kiese. Since 1989, he has acted as adviser to major Scandinavian projects involving power changes both in the public and private sector, and he is often employed as a lecturer in strategic communication. In journalistic circles, trusting communication advisors is not considered quite comme il faut. I’ve worked as a journalist and an editor myself and trust both occupational categories. So why is the trust not mutual?

An editorial in “Klima” (“Climate”) magazine no. 2/08 may illustrate the point. The editor, Tove Kolset, writes as follows: “I’m holding an interesting document in my hands: “A green car population demands political action.” Behind this brochure is Volvo Passenger Cars in Norway, assisted by the communication agency Geelmuyden.Kiese (GK), called in to put the message through. To be honest, I must admit that I felt more positively towards the brochure before I noticed GK’s involvement.”

Is there anything apart from prejudice behind Kolset’s distrust? Does she feel herself to be cheated? The information in the Volvo report is based on facts and research which Kolset is free to check. Kolset documents no faults in the factual information. She simply dislikes that Volvo has been assisted by professional communication advisors in making the report. Would it seem more satisfactory if the car manufacturer had done the job on their own without outside assistance? Or is it the very professionalism that’s bothering her? Should Kolset prefer the brochure to be produced by an amateur team from the middle of nowhere?

Economists are taught that perfect information is the basis of a perfect market. As neither perfect information nor perfect markets exist, communication advisors do. Each and every second, a battle over interpretations and interests is being fought in our society. Communication advisors as well as journalists participate in this battle, but in different roles. I trust journalists because I appreciate their role as guard dogs for the general population.

For myself, I claim no ideal purpose. Communication advisors represent the interests of one party. This is legitimate as long as these interests are openly presented. One-party interests should obviously be thoroughly examined. Journalists seeking knowledge do just that. They’re checking several sources and have little to fear from communication advisors. Journalists who instead reject information on the basis of emotions and prejudice are unprofessional, as are communication advisors out to fool to public.

Hans Geelmuyden


Back in the day, there was a lot less specialization in all walks of life. Newspapers catered to the masses. There weren't as many TV channels, so each one had to have something for everyone. This increase in specialization doesn't only apply to media. Products are also becoming increasingly specialized.

An excellent example of this is the Da Kine Patrol backpack. While I'm sure that you can use it for other things, it was pretty much developed for the surfer.

While some of the features on the bag, like the laptop sleeve and fleece-lined sunglasses pocket, are pretty generic others are highly specialized. For example, there is a tarp-lined pocket for wax, as well as a another padded pocket for fins.

If I get this bag, I'll only need to pick up the Go Pro camera that David Meerman Scott blogged about and I'll be all set for my trip in late September.


Blog Campaigning: Data & Methodology

Data & Methodology

“Determining the impact of the blog may prove to be difficult at best because it is not immediately obvious how one would show impact” (Simmons 2005, p. 1).

2.1 Methodology

During the course of the twentieth century, numerous attempts have been made to explain the effects of the mass media on the political process (Stockwell 2005, p. 114). The findings that have emerged from these studies are exceedingly inconclusive. So inconclusive, claims Larry M. Bartels (1993, p. 267), that the state of research in the “media effects” area is “one of the most notable embarrassments of modern social science”. Over time theorists have gone from claiming that the media have a strong, almost hypodermic effect (Lasswell 1927) that can shape opinions and beliefs (McQuail in Stockwell 2005, p. 114), to suggesting that the media have only a minimal effect on citizens because they can not deliver political messages with any predictable effect (Lazarsfeld in Stockwell 2005, p. 115). In more recent times theorists have again been claiming that the media have a “relatively strong” effect on public opinion because they have the power to set the agenda and affect what people talk about (McCombs and Shaw in Stockwell 2005, p. 15). However, these are just a few examples of the work that have been done over time. Today we are still debating what effects the media have on the political process. If anything, we have come to realize the complexity of the issue itself, and that there is no simple answer to the question. Perhaps Berelson says it best when he muses about his own findings over the years and claims that: “some kinds of communication on some kinds of issues, brought to the attention of some kinds of people under some kinds of conditions, have some kinds of effects” (in Diamond & Bates 1984, p. 347). It is therefore not with the intention of revolutionising the area of “media effects” studies that this paper goes on to look at one of the newest and more exciting technologies within the area. Rather the intention is to explore new perspectives that can help us understand the opportunities that lie within the complexities of the modern media sphere for political campaigns to produce desirable effects on the political process.

Few scholars have so far attempted to identify how effective political messages can be communicated via blogs. The reason might be that many do not yet understand how the universe of blogs works. The author of this study believes that in order to understand how politicians can utilise blogs as a means to optimise successful electioneering, it is not just necessary to understand the nature and strategies of political campaigning, but also the cultural and sociological aspects that define the medium as a new communication phenomenon. This study therefore bases its findings mainly on ethnographic research and can be seen as a methodological critique seeking to test findings of previous studies exploring the subject. Unconventional methods and data gathering techniques have consequently been employed by the researcher in an attempt to view the subject from a new perspective.