This blog post is an opinion piece.
I have worked in the media for a long time and I have seen it change dramatically over the past ten years. We are in fascinating times and who knows what it will all look like at the end of the day.
The current state of the media in 2017 is fluid. I am not sure many people could have predicted how quickly the internet was going to turn so many business models upside down and inside out. For years people have been predicting the end of the newspaper. Life expectancy has been estimated anywhere from 0 (it is dead) to 5 years. The reality is that no one really knows. Every media agency is being forced to incorporate all kinds of digital and social media platforms in attempts to stay current. The business model is now changing, along with content production and journalism. Photographers, writers, designers and illustrators have all been forced to adapt to the new media climate.
The basic problem is this: The amount of money generated from print advertising will never equal the amount of money generated by online advertising. To make matters worse you have an audience with an insatiable appetite for online content.
Recently, I listened to Canadaland, a podcast hosted by Jesse Brown. He likes to refer to newspapers as "legacy media", which always sounds like a bit of a criticism. None the less, this podcast brings up some good questions that I feel we all need to be concerned about. What happens when there are so many cuts to the media that reporters can no longer do their job? Serious problems arise when a government is no longer held accountable or a community is in need because of a crisis. Good media requires time, and right now time is very short supply. We are all required to do a lot more with a lot less. Does this warrant a bail out? Or should the industry be let to slowly fade away?
Some people may wonder why anyone would want to stay in this industry. It can be an exciting and rewarding career. You benefit from reading and learning everyday. Anyone who is curious or care about their community would enjoy the pace and feeling of achievement. You can make a difference in the world.
The only way to survive is to be current. Stay current, stay curious and stay educated. Use your expertise and experience, combine that with new technology and you will have a winning combination. Be open to changes and be fearless. The companies and individuals who are ready to embrace change will be the ones who survive and thrive. Don't run, don't be afraid.
I believe that humans desire for information will continue to support reliable and honest media. As we head into a more digital future I think we will see audiences demand honesty. Their loyalty will show with readership and clicks, because in the end our traffic will always be measured.
Message or comment if you want to discuss anything to do with the media.
Only a respectful dialogue will be tolerated.