20 February 2009

The Death of Conventional Media

I live in Seattle, one of the last 2 newspaper towns in America. For the astute the Times was more center right and the Post Intelligencer was to the left of the spectrum. Both however in a heavily blue part of the country. Death hangs over the PI as its owner - the media giant Hearst Corp tries to sell it. Now we are into the last 30 days - they will most likely cease the print edition. It gets lighter and lighter on my doorstep every morning.

I have watched venerable traditional media like even the Christian Science Monitor reduce fold or move online. Infoworld - my favorite tech rag has also disappeared in print form despite having editions that were over 144 pages.

Yesterday I read with a degree of sadness that the once proud vision of a global brand in our industry - Travel Weekly - has shuttered its Asian edition. No longer part of an integrated family it struggled and now too has succumbed to the inevitability of the death of conventional print media. My friend and the launch editor Siew Hoon wrote this lament on her Transit Cafe site.


From my perspective - I have enjoyed being a person who pushed the envelope and the world change that the web and associated technologies has brought. However there is always that small tinge of regret at the collateral damage. The sheer inevitability of the death of conventional media is a loss to us all. To me its a loss of trusted independent opinion. The loss of people whose integrity (most of the time) you could count on.

I hope that our children and the next generation of consumers find a way to develop a trusted source of information whose name does not begin with a G, a Y or an M. Perhaps a W will become something that means goodness. Lets all hope so.


No comments: