Monday, February 05, 2007

The Way Forward -- for Media

I would like to see newspapers expand instead of contracting, but I don't think it's going to happen ... their survival strategies seem to be a race to the bottom, and people will always be able to see more embarrassing pix of celebrities online for free than a paper is going to publish, even in its digital editions, so that game is lost before it starts.

Back when this country was founded, newspapers were wildly opinionated party organs, written for very targeted audiences, and they spoke from a clear agenda.

You were free to agree or disagree, but it was absolutely clear where they were coming from: my party good, your party bad.

With the advent of technology -- that would have been the telegraph -- media became mass and went "objective" to widen their advertiser appeal and audience, and attempted to capture larger markets, both geographically and politically.

It worked for a while, until it didn't anymore.

I've believed for a long time that the way for print media -- online or digital -- to be successful again is to be clearly and strongly partisan, whichever direction the agenda is coming from, to effectively compete for and win people's passions and loyalties.

Objectivity worked for a while, as mass media worked for a while, but passion is already overtaking it, whichever side people are on.

And Web 4.0 hooks it all up together -- restaurant reviews, concerts, dinner dates, movies, invites and your calendar


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