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March 30, 2005

Death spiral might be irreversible

As somebody said good technology changes the user. My bloglines experience is something like that. It gives you a perfect platform to do a quick opinion comparison. Not just between the two bloggers but also across cultures. In one quick glance you can analyze how media is evolving differently in China, India and here in US.  Reading Jay Rosen's posts where he quotes Philip Meyer :

"If we are to preserve journalism and its social-service functions, maybe we would be wise not to focus too much on traditional media. The death spiral might be irreversible."

Post is worth reading, it tells you where this all important institution of media is headed and how at the fundamental level its getting challenged.  As Jarvis puts it instead of being a one-way pipe its fast becoming an open pool. And it's not just the mainstream media which is under lets-rediscover-our-business-model mode here, everybody who ever did any kind of PR or go-to-market campaign will have to rethink their strategy going forward.  Readership is shifting. Readers are  writers as well - no matter how their grammar and indentation sucks - they are here to stay !

If you compare this fast developing concept of grassroot journalism with what's happening in the emerging nations then you will realize how deep the disconnect is.  Over there the mainstream media was always about keeping the power equation intact - formalizing the status quo at the participant level while debating the change and state of the nation. It provided at some level the Rolodex and at some level necessary plug to promote political and business masters.  Power corrupts and in many emerging countries where the Internet-penetration is lacking it was left to the mainstream media to decide what to push and what to filter.

Thanks to digital revolution all that is changing. What is not changing fast enough is the viability of new business models around grassroot journalism (or blog-journalism or standalone journalism !).  Emerging countries need this new movement to take off.  Hopefully we will see viable models to emerge so that this form of journalism can flourish where its needed most.

March 30, 2005 in Media | Permalink


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