Trends to watch in 2008 to gauge the pace of news change 1/1/08Posted by Steve Boriss in Future.
In regards to the future of news, it is probably more difficult to predict when things will happen than what will happen. Long-term changes can be projected through use of logic, whereas short-term events follow a bumpier road of failed experiments, specific actions by individuals, and short-term marketplace responses. So, rather than provide specific predictions for 2008, I have listed below endpoints we may reach within 5 years, against which the rate of change can be assessed one year from now.
Fragmentation: Audiences are consuming very little mass media, having splintered-off into a multitude of sites with news that more directly affects their lives, better matches their worldviews, and more closely fits with their interests.
Monetization: Newspaper and TV advertisers have transferred substantial chunks of their advertising budgets online because sufficient numbers are no longer exposed to their ads in traditional media. Advertisers are also drawn by online’s ability to target sales prospects better because sites are fragmented by interest and much more is known about each individual user – an online feature so valuable that those concerned about privacy are increasingly patronized, marginalized and ignored.
Murdochization: Rupert Murdoch has the largest impact on the national conversation, with his now-superior Wall Street Journal replacing the NY Times as, in his words, the leading “national elitist general-interest paper.”
Collapse of Local Broadcast: Local TV stations are fighting block-by-block for revenues in online hyperlocal news because: 1) broadcast audiences have migrated to the Internet; 2) they prefer to receive their national and international news from the best sites in the world; 3) audiences find hyperlocal news more interesting than metro news; and 4) the networks no longer need the local stations to broadcast their programming the “last 50 miles” to homes because of Internet and wireless technology, depriving the stations of revenues from local ads placed within and between network primetime shows.
Newsosaur an Endangered Species: With the marketplace seizing control of news, a lack of opportunities for youth in Old Media firms, and a new generation of tech-savvy journalists enjoying the pleasures of unedited, free-flowing, fast-changing self-expression, those who defend Old Media practices and government regulation are increasingly regarded as amusing curmudgeons, relics of a bygone era.