do we still need old media?

old media new media

Newspapers, magazines, news channels… what are they filled with today? More than likely something about wikileaks as a main headline, perhaps the new facebook profile update as a minor update and in between they’ll be filled with old news we all knew about yesterday anyway thanks to real time updates from twitter & facebook…

Old media is becoming a bit like that guy on twitter who retweets breaking news that’s already a trending topic and has been for some time. Whilst he thinks he’s doing everyone a favour, the reality is he’s just highlighting the fact he hasn’t bothered to see what’s already happening on twitter and as a result damages his own credibility.

This video sums it up old media nicely…

Whilst that’s supposed to be comedy, i’m sure some of you never noticed, because we’re so used to seeing this kind of video played out in real life. For me, old media are a slower, censored, politically correct version of twitter.

Right this second as i type this, what’s happening? TwitScoop tells me Christ Houghton has been sacked as Newcastle manager. I can tell just by these three words..

hughton sacked

Sure enough, he has been sacked. And that’s end of story for me… i don’t need any more info. I’m not interested. However because he’s only been sacked now, this will only hit newspaper back pages tomorrow, which means tomorrow’s sports news is old news and everyone has already read everything there is to read about it.

Is the future of news social?

Definitely… the news at present is social. Most of it is broken online by ordinary people. Simply because ordinary people outnumber journalists, social news will always win when it comes to being first on the scene. With an internet connection, anyone can become a journalist. Ok, not everyone can write and report and express themselves properly, but most people can snap a picture and add a title, or describe what’s going on around them in 140 characters. Send message and BAM, old media become old news because they’re not the source of information.

die zeit
Creative Commons License photo credit: 9618

The problem old media have is that by their very nature they pad out stories with unnecessary detail. We all know for example facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and that’s he’s 26 and facebook has 500m members, but old media will start every article concerning facebook presenting these facts. So i then have to ignore that bit and start filtering the waffle from the actual news.

I don’t have to do that on twitter or even on facebook. It’s filtered for me. Top news. Latest trends. There’s the news in a few keywords. No waffle. I can just google stuff i don’t understand. Now of course if you’re looking for quality discussion and expert opinion, this is where old media have an advantage… they can analyse breaking news better than random users on twitter or facebook can and that’s really how they earn their living.

Expert -v- A group of people on the street

However for me, i don’t really care about who says what… in forums and on blogs, you have to read all comments and all posts to respond to them. One comment could be from a 10 year old, the other from a professor in the subject matter. You don’t know… it’s not very clear if all you have to go on is an alias. But i prefer reading 100 forums posts on something than i do one long article created by one person who happens to be an expert on the subject.

That’s why for me, new, social, people powered media conquers over old media. It gives everyone a voice and allows anyone to become an expert. You end up with a more balanced argument. Old media is called old media for a reason. We read and write today more than we’ve ever done before, so there will always be a need for expert analysis which is where old media comes in. Today however it just compliments new media… i’ll still watch news channels, i’ll still read papers if i’m not paying for them but the vast majority of what’s in them doesn’t interest me not because it’s not interesting, just because it’s not ‘new’, it contains nothing i haven’t read about already…

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