A tale of two paths, one industry.

TWO PATHS

The two stories I’m choosing to highlight in this entry, about the state of the media landscape, really draw an amazing distinction between old and new media. And, not only that, but about the future of journalists as well.

Of course, not every journalist is going to create an empire like Bill Simmons, but his journey clearly illustrates that there is hope out there in media land for people who make their living creating content.

I have written and read exhaustively about the state of media. It’s been my focus since the day I started working almost 30 years ago. For years, while I was on the flack side running my PR firm, we all lived in fear of the all-powerful reporter. You could clearly see that power waning in the mid-2000’s, as the Internet began to hit the traditional media model hard. First, Craigslist killed their classified advertising monopoly. Then, content began to appear in the form of digital media (think The Huffington Post back then and Facebook and Twitter today, and with it, they took even more of the ad support with them. And all of that doesn’t even begin to describe the impact that Google had on the traditional advertising market.

Even someone as unsophisticated in tech as myself jumped ship and left the PR industry to enter the digital content explosion by starting my new site, The News Funnel.

So, what’s left? Everyone knows print is on its last breath. What then becomes of the journalist? I have long thought that the future is for journalists to become their own brands. They will have to begin marketing themselves like professionals do in other industries by becoming their own media platforms. They have the talent and they are needed by business and society at large. Their function and purpose is undeniable. But, what has changed is the medium and the platform. 

Check out these two articles that really illustrate where things seem to be heading in the media and journalism world: 

Last Call: The end of the printed newspaper

Bill Simmons’ Big Score