Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Change change change...

The traditional and older forms of media, newspaper and television, are threatened by the rise of a faster and more tech-saavy way to connect - the Internet.

Clay Shirky describes the fall of newspapers to the Internet in his article "Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinakble". The newspaper business is expensive to operate. To print and distribute material to its readers is much more expensive for a newspaper company vs. publishing articles online. I think the most interesting point Shirky makes in this article is that what used to work, does not work today. People's wants and needs continue to evolve with time, as technology grows rapidly. Convenience and fast information is very valuable to our society, because things are much more fast-paced.

In "Sorry, There's No Way to Save the TV Business", Henry Blodget asserts that the TV business is doomed. Simply put,
"Because eventually the cable-satellite-airwave monopoly over TV content in local markets will be circumvented by simple, global Internet distribution."

TV is threatened by newer forms that are gaining popularity and new audiences. These include video games, Internet, Netflix, YouTube, etc. Blodget points out that you will only have to pay for the content you want and subscribe to - instead of paying for a bunch of channels and only using a few of them. And, the cost will be much more reasonable than that of cable TV or satellite. Although TV has made efforts to maintain its customer base and keep up with technology by going digital, offering DVR, and enhancing cable packages with extra channels - this won't be enough, Blodget argues. He believes that this will take place over the next 5 to 10 years.

It is obvious that the newspaper industry has taken a hit, especially in our area, with the closing of the Ann Arbor News in 2009 and also with the scaling back of the Detroit Free Press. The change can be especially difficult for areas like ours in Metro Detroit, that are experiencing challenging economic times. I think it is natural to resist change at first, and more so for the older audience who have incorporated reading their local paper every morning as part of their daily routine for years. I think that the Internet will continue to grow and become firmly planted as the number one form of media.

And I think that although this may be very difficult for some to accept initially - it gives us a new opportunity to embrace a new form of media. I can remember loving to read newspapers such as the Detroit Free Press and Ann Arbor News since late grade school. This love for the news was one of the reasons I have always dreamed of pursuing a career in journalism. Reading the newspaper was a big part of my routine every day - and this has now shifted to browsing sites such as or An advantage of reading the news online vs. a print newspaper is that you can explore the news anywhere in the world and you have so much more information at your fingertips.

1 comment:

  1. As radical as it sounds, I'm glad there is a shift going on on how and what news we receive. The modern way to receive our news evolved to a mass media project with tight controls and sanctions. I believe this is an opportunity for independent journalism that focuses on informing the public, not carrying out certain agendas.

    With that said, the public should be educated to discern the authority and legitimacy of the information they receive online. Too many times I have seen rampant disinformation about key issues affecting us. An educated public is a strong democratic base.