Just a quick post about some things that I follow and think about.
(It also gave me an excuse to use this title which has a nice rhythm to it, kind of like “lions and tigers and bears, oh my!”)
Senator Benjamin L. Cardin, D.-Md has introduced a bill to make newspapers tax exempt. If newspapers chose nonprofit status they would have to refrain from making political endorsements. It’s all a nice thought but it’s too little too late. Newspapers’ decline is not a good thing for democracy, but the industry shot itself with its long-time complacency and arrogance, feeling as though it was important enough that circulation would never drop, people would always buy personal ads and businesses would always take out the too expensive display ads.
Most of us in the business have seen the signs of print faltering for some time but now the industry looks to me like an old man in a Model T Ford, pedal to the rusting metal, clutching the wheel as he tries to navigate a NASCAR race.
And so we turn to new media, social media, whatever we want to call it.
It’s still amazing to me that a company a little more than five years old could try to buy another company (Twitter) for $500 million last summer.
Contrast the print industry’s implosion with the explosive growth of Facebook, Myspace, Google and others and you can see the writing on the wall. It’s written in billboard size fonts.
Problem: As professionals who disseminate information, as people who promote and market, we still haven’t found our footing in this new territory.