I am glad to see the 4th Estate re-invigorated and challenged to go get the story again. Since the end of the Nixon debacle, the media has been slowly sliding into the lazy habits of the well-fed and pampered. Now that the barbarians are pounding at the gates (an analogy I will not use again), the media is being forced to find stories.
Their will be an increase in partisanship and subjectivity. However, if you look at the long history of the media, this is not new. It’s just that there is a generation who has seen the rise of a relatively independent media, followed by it’s slide into debauchery and depravity.
I gained my knowledge of the behaviour of the media from the writings of Hunter S Thompson. Some will say that this is a bad source, but I learned about the pyramid, and other journalistic terms while wading through his vitriol and disdain for the mediocre.
For me, the newspaper is simply a bulletin board. It tells me about happenings, but rarely takes the time to do much else. The question is: what is the newspaper’s market? What is the niche that they are serving?
I can get all of the stories in the newspaper on-line. In fact, not just from one newspaper. And with blogs and feeds, I can get more detail than I have ever imagined, or am able to process.
So, I ask the newspaper “writers” and “editors”, why should I pick up your paper? Beyond the portability of your product, an advantage that is diminishing by the second, is there a sound economic reason for newpapers to continue to exist.
I am sure that there are deeper thinkers than I, who have considered this, and have deep philosophical thoughts on this. But, how do you convince me and my ilk, the iPod-wearing, laptop-toting, instantly-gratifiable leading edge to buy your product?
What makes a newspaper sexy? What about a newspaper makes me want to pick one up on a daily basis?
Answering that “I am not your target market” is no longer viable. Joe Lunchbucket wants his scores now to track his pools. Reviews are plentiful, and targeted; the local critic no longer can control a market. Recipes and home ideas? Please!
Is there a reason, beyond the persistence of memory, for newspapers to exist as physical entities in the digital age?
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