New Media and the Decline of Old Media

To many Americans,
today?s newspaper is
irrelevant, and network
news is as compelling
as whatever is
being offered over
on the Home
Shopping Network.
Maybe less.
–Terry Eastland

New media are threatening the power and dominance of old media. This isn’t a new story, but analysis about why it’s the case is sparse. Most writing on the new media is still written from a point of view that seems to be either gee whiz promotion or by those who are discovering it for the first time.

Terry Eastland provides an overview that explains how the new media are replacing the old, and why. It’s a good summation of what is happening and offers a clear historical perspective of the growth of the elite mainline media and their humbling decline today.

The divide between
publishers and the
public is collapsing.
This turns mass
media upside down.
It creates media
of the masses.
–Stephen Baker
Heather Green

BusinessWeek writers Stephen Baker and Heather Green explain why blogs are necessary for businesses and how major corporations are using the blogosphere.

They also say that blogs are not like the dotcom bubble that burst because it had no substance. Blogs will continue, they say, because they are in the hands of “masses of people with computers, no budget, no business plan, no burn rate…and no bubble.”

The most striking statement is the role the web is beginning to play in the lives of everyday people. Blogs are a public connection. Constantly changing. Ever updating. “They create a global conversation.” Baker and Green say blogs track what’s on our minds. This is the exciting thing.

Not so exciting is their claim that big companies have scale that individual bloggers don’t have, and therefore, the ability to reach niche audiences in a targetted way unavailable in mass media. What’s not exciting about this to me is the absorption of blogs as yet another tool for the self-serving ends of corporations. Yet another form of advertising.

However you feel about this, both articles present a clear and compelling case; blogging is redefining media. Blogging is not only making history, blogging is changing the global conversation.

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