The (rapid) decline of the media industry



Those of us who have been classically trained in journalism (from back in the days when journalism was more than blogging and posting videos to Twitter), it’s hard to see the decline of the world in which we once thrived. Writing for a local newspaper in the 80s showed me two things that I can say are amongst my most insightful perspectives:

  • Journalism has always been an engine that drives revenues
  • Real “journalists” were going to be replaced over time as technology improved

At the time I was called an apocalyptic freak. I believe those were the actual words used by an editor who was, at the time, in his 60s and is still alive today. Yes, I was correct on both counts; I wish I would have marked the date because it hasn’t happened very often since.

The infographic below that I found on TheNextWeb does a pretty good job at reflecting my perceptions of the trends in media today.

Decline in Media

  1. How does your last figure make sense?  Just 40% of people read a newspaper (online or in print).  Fine.  Why don’t the other two numbers add up to 100%?

  2. For my part, I enjoyed getting the paper delivered to my house daily.

    Why I cancelled receiving the paper was due to how the delivery was managed.  I travel frequently, sometimes without much warning.  Coming home to a months worth of soggy papers at the bottom of my driveway was not only messy, it was also a security risk.  I could understand it …once, but not repeatably.

    Now, I get the Sunday paper out of the machine, IF I am out and IF my wife requests it.

  3. Politically motivated classical journalists no longer control the content of the information to which we citizens have access. This is a very good thing.

  4. Journalism used to be about finding newsworthy stories which actually had an impact on a number of people’s lives, reporting to publicize, and continuing with investigative followups then doing in-depth analysis.  What we have now are lazy journalists and commentator bloggers (which I can say, I myself am one), who take stories at face value, then move onto the next puff piece story without doing sufficient investigative followups, while we bloggers argue and rant about what went wrong.

  5. As a budding freelance journalist, all I can say is that there is a wealth of opportunity out there. A decline in print media does not mean you can’t go out and find subjects to cover and there is work everywhere. Open and fast moving electronic media is the best thing in the world for anyone who can keep up with it.
    Evolve or die.   

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