Media Death Or Evolution?

With the rise of new social media channels and other online tools many people have been talking about the decline or even death of the conventional media. This could be one explanation though I feel it could be seen more as an evolution of media.

Unfortunately this evolution is happening very fast and leaving some people in its wake. As Matthew quite rightly put in his comment on my previous post this process is also being quickened by the recession. For instance in Bristol, regional newspapers such as the Western Daily Press, have made large redundancies to their staff. Bristol’s radio scene seems to have shrunk as well with the relocation and redundancies. I think there must be similar trends throughout the UK.

Across the pond in States papers like the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (one of the oldest in Seattle) rolls out its last newspaper today and becomes a totally online entity. They follow in the footsteps of many other US publications to the online realm. Around the world people are utilising media in new ways.

However, I am not sure that journalists and conventional PR people should get too fearful of the new online world. What is needed is an understanding of how their skills could be best used within the online realm. Social media allows obtaining feedback and interaction with an audience which simply was not possible in previous media channels. While this may involve learning a totally new IT skill-set it is preferable than being left on the sidelines as more social media tools appear.

That being said, the instincts for clear communications and stories that conventional PR, Journalists and other people in the media have developed over years of experience are still greatly needed especially in a confusing online world. While web wizardry and social media can dress things up very nice you always need something with substance to begin with.