Traditional Journalism Continues To Struggle, But Differently Than Originally Thought

March 21, 2008

The Newsroom Of The 21st CenturyEarlier this week, The State Of The News Media report was released by the Project For Excellence In Journalism was released shedding a dark light on the future of the newspaper industry. Not as dark as originally predicted however.

Yes, the physical newspaper is in much worse shape than even a year ago, but while experts predicted the democratization of information would mean audiences would fragment into new sources of news info such as blogs and social networks, online news sites such as my morning reading The New York Times Online are actually receiving more traffic than the legacy media and blogs are receiving much less traffic than originally predicted. Also important is the fact that the most popular blogs are written and produced by writers that are anything but “amateur”. Often, the most popular blogs are filled with content written by professional writers with backgrounds in traditional journalism.


I haven’t had a chance to read the fairly lengthy report myself yet, but JD Lasica over at MediaShift Idea Lab has, and has pulled some interesting points from the Major Trends section:

  • news is moving from a product to a service-the user wants to know how it can empower him
  • a news story is no longer ever finished…stories must always involve incremental updates even in the form of a short email to the reader…it seems this may be taken straight from the blogosphere as most of us bloggers provide incremental updates as a way to develop an internal linking structure for search engines
  • news is no longer one person telling a story to another…yes it still involves the storytelling aspect, but it extends in to the storyteller providing the reader the tools necessary to interact with and interpret the story in a way that is useful to him
  • news organizations and websites are no longer final destinations… they must be a portal into further discussion about any particular story… this is probably why NYT Online provides ways to share stories by submitting them to social networks and info aggregation services and even links to the most popular blog stories of the day
  • “each piece of content competes on its own with all other information on that topic linked to by blogs, “digged” by user news sites, sent in e-mails, or appearing in searches. As much as half of every Web page, designers advise, should be devoted to helping people find what they want on the rest of the site or the Web”

I’ll definitely be looking through the report over the weekend and will undoubtedly have more to share with you.


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