The death knell of traditional media

3 Facts and a Conclusion:

Journalism and advertising is all about packaging the news in a consumable fashion, but social media seems to be reshaping the way we consume news:

Fact 1: Web traffic to the blog pages of the top 10 online newspapers grew 210 percent year over year in December (Source: Nielsen Net Ratings)

Fact 2: TIME Inc. lays off nearly 300 (Source: New York Times)

Also, “both Time and People are scaling back their practice of using several correspondents to report and write a single article.”

Fact 3: TIME redesigns home page with prominent focus on blogs/bloggers:

Check it out here.

Conclusion: I guess it was a foregone conclusion as to the decline of traditional media, but does this indicate the death knell for traditional media. Will all journalists start blogging and stop writing long winded articles? I guess not, but it’s definitely an interesting thought.

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  1. Mario Sundar

    You guys have a nice discussion going there, D & M.

    I totally agree that brand-name information giants are going to rule the roost. However, I think these giants are more nimble than we give them credit for.

    Take a look at techmeme and you’ll see a slew of traditional media giants, starting with NYT, luring the early tech adopters with their feeds and blog style coverage.

  2. Mario Vellandi

    I see partnerships as the catalyst for greater informational brands.
    It could be from:
    – Greater syndication of different publications within a conglomerate
    – Negotiating time/piece contracts for superstar journalists, or hell lets take a step further: bloggers with a large number of readers, functional expertise (scientists, doctors, engineers, sociologists…) and an exceptional writing style. Take out the middleman journalist and cut the process time from story prospect to publication (when applicable).
    – Cross-channel (finance, health, arts…) content syndication outside the company, for publications that serve diverse topics. I’m unsure if the following was an extra-company JV, but I did appreciate how CNN brought in Business 2.0 for its Money section (positioning aside).

    That’s just for the sourcing. Some companies already have products, such as the Economist with their pocket guides or Playboy with their various merchandise and media, that they can pursue additional sales for, in these customized and anonymous distribution channels.

  3. damon billian

    Hi Mario V.,

    I agree:) Let’s not forget money is to be made with these companies, which means that they aren’t going to willingly lose the battle w/out a fight. I also think they have tremendous resources (capital, people) that can overcome some obstacles. If anything holds these companies back, at least IMHO, is that they tend to take to long to implement these changes because of a bureaucratic nature…

  4. Mario Vellandi

    Major media will offer more feeds so that we can subscribe and skim better than we did with the older media. They’ll make compelling short copy to draw us in with links in readers, to the bigger story on the site.
    To better bridge both online and offline, they’ll draw from the best practices of CNN, BBC, Fast Company, and NPR among others. Lastly we’ll see more partnerships and content syndication to reduce expenses.

  5. damon billian

    Hi Mario,

    Even though I believe in RSS & readers, I still visit sites the old-fashioned way very often (type in the url). It makes me feel like I am not being lazy & let’s me keep my typing skills sharp;-) As the number of sites I am starting to skim is growing, I do think I will be making a major shift (using a reader again) to digesting information in that format.

    Tagging, at least if you’re not dealing with tagging spam, is probably another way that I could skim material as well.

  6. Mario Sundar


    Are you a Google Reader user. As an avid user, I have the exact same feeling of “skimming past things much more readily” while reading my RSS feeds on Google Reader.

    Welcome to the future. Imagine having tablet PCs that really afford the opportunity to skim past web pages and RSS feeds much like we would in a book. Hopefully, we should see that sometime soon.

  7. Damon Billian

    Hmmm….I think traditional media & social media will coexist. I don’t think the big companies are going anywhere ….but I think that they will change their ways to become more like the new media. I think there are some very obvious benefits to blogging & I would actually like to see someone trained in journalism to do more “real” reporting via the blogosphere (I guess it is more of an accountability issue?)

    As I spend a great deal of time on the web, I do say that the one thing I like about traditional print is that I can skim past things much more readily. Having something in your hands is somewhat more “tangible”…I think it is still fun to flip pages…

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