The PR Guy's Blog

Online Communications & Media Relations

Darwinism And The Media

Remember when companies were conventional in their hiring - when the mantra ‘hire til they retire’ was almost and industry standard?

From banks to retail, newspapers to the local apprentice barber, you pretty much stayed loyal to the company and in return opportunity and promotion through osmosis usually ensued.

Of course, then came the advent of IT services, mobile set ups and freelancing. 

Suddenly companies - and their CEO’s seemed more responsive to the cries of shareholders and bean counters - and fostered a new mantra of being loyal to your skill rather than the employee.

The shift has intensified even more to the point now that the business landscape has so transformed that older organisations that once dominated the landscape found their business usurped by technology and continue to lay people off in order to survive.

None are more affected at present than those in media industry - which has seen professionals now in the age of 40’s, 50’s and even 60’s with decades of industry experience now actively seeking employment.

Experience, maturity, evolvement are now being replaced as the world we live in looks not so much for reality digestible 30 second news bites but bottom line profits.

It seems times haven’t so much changed - just the people who live in those times.

Like many, I’m guessing one of the first things you did this morning was check the news - you probably didn’t open an actual newspaper - chances are you read the news on your mobile device.

Today, digital traffic is the major force driving news consumption - it covers a lot of bases - in depth journalism however isn’t generally one of them.

Newspaper moguls and CEO’s will also try and tell you that paywalls (those restrictive barriers many sites will erect once you’ve read x-number/or special interest articles) are needed for the industry to maintain their level of quality.

Truth be known, they simply haven’t worked out how to propagate the hundreds of millions of dollars they were making in the print version of the product into the electronic version we enjoy today.

Industry leaders will tell you that quality journalism needs to be protected by having ‘paywalls’ yet the same isn’t patently apparent when it comes to television or radio - which offer unrestricted access to news based purely on their business/advertising models.

Somehow it seems the old print editions (in their enthusiasm to embrace the digital revolution) didn’t quite think this one through to the end of the ledger.

Where they once had a stranglehold on a particular medium - that medium has now morphed into a new evolutionary superior creature - positioned awkwardly between old school delivery of news and the forlorn belief it has a divine birthright to make not only the same revenues as it did before the age of enlightenment, but charge a premium for public information.

Electronic mediums (it would seem are seemingly content with the revenues they raise from advertising to ensure quality journalism can co-exist) on their networks along with the advertorial (errrr reality type) programs they run to augment their incomes - yet print continues to struggle with the idea that in the brave new world of technology there is a place for everyone - and everyone will find a place.

Whether that place involves paywalls is problematic - but if we are to believe Darwin - then it is not the strongest of the species that survives but the most adaptable.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

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