Is Old Media Really Dead?

    by Paul Lamb
    March 2, 2008

    According to this new report released by We Media/Zogby, two thirds of Americans think traditional journalism is out of touch with what they want from their news and nearly half now get their news online. The report suggests that 29% of Americans get their primary news information fromTelevision, 11% from radio and only 10% from newspapers.

    Is traditional media really dead or dying? Is journalism itself the problem or is it all about a shirft in medium and not the quality of journalism itself that is itself the cause of our dissatisfaction? Or are these the wrong questions to be asking?

    What do YOU think?

    Tagged: old media new media journalism news information television radio newspaper
    • When announcing the results of this poll at the WeMedia conference in Miami last week, Dale Peskin put a little context around these findings, noting that traditional media has about the same level of trust as other big systems/organizations like government, or corporate America. So I don’t think old-media-haters should salivate too much over the findings. I’d be interested in a follow-up study on issues of trust/satisfaction among users of new media.

    • It is the quality of the journalism.

      Media (and corporations in general and government) are out of touch. The news, as presented, is not what really matters.

      That’s what I was trying to get across in my last post, taking one personal example.

      We do not get investigations and coverage that help us control the often negative forces that affect us. Sorry to sound out-of-touch from the other direction, but in most significant ways getting control over our lives means participating collective change.

      Not what product we should buy, not what lifestyle enhancement we can choose, not even whom we may vote for.

      Avoiding people’s real concerns and the natural corollary of what we, together, can do about them will tend to make what news coverage remains a little strange and introspective. That’s also my take on Jay Rosen’s question request, “Three Vetting Stories Went Awry at the New York Times: Find the Pattern”– Vetting the Tangential: Weird NYT Articles a Symptom of Avoiding Real Issues.

    • Paul, thanks for sharing this interesting data. With nearly half of Americans getting their news online, it would be interesting to find out what sites, forums, blogs and news outlets are they using.

      According to the We Media/Zogby report, “very few American’s consider blogs their most trusted source of news.” We don’t trust most of the blogosphere. Many of the blogs out there just flat out can’t be trusted or taken as credible information.

      How we can we trust what “Joe Shmoe” says on Twitter as fact? We are aching for a sense of credibility, which in turn drives us to the sites that we are familiar with. If I read the New York Times for all of my adult life, chances are I trust them as a news source, and will visit them online whether there is a print version of their news or not.

      Traditional media in the sense of us carrying around a newspaper or turning on the five o’clock news to get information might be dying, but we will keep turning to the sources and outlets we are familiar with, because we do not want to duped into believing false information from an obscure site.

      Once there is a standard for bloggers and a code of transparency for social journalists to follow, the media landscape will shift once again, from our trusted news sources to the new kids on the block. Until then, we will have to make a decision based on content, transparency, and credibility of a blog.

    • This seems to be more about platform than outlet. It’s not so much a question of finding online news feeds more credible or compelling (they’re mostly just taken from MSM outlets anyway), as it is a preference for speed of delivery and freeness of delivery.

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