I guess the biggest question with the social media is if it’s slowly but surely replacing the traditional one. I have spoken to several prominent bloggers and social media experts for the past two weeks, and they all stated that the mainstream media would remain and evolve.
However, the last issue of the Economist reports on quite gloomy prospects for the American press industry. The circulation of the biggest newspapers is cascading down. Even the leaders in the news industry, like New York Times, which once upon a time could boast with their “safest jobs in journalism” are now struggling for the survival.
Some prescribe this downfall to the American economic slowdown, but the biggest reason for the decline of newspaper readership is the internet, with its booming news sector.
I often hear people say that the social media will not replace the mainstream media just as the television did not replace the radio. But it’s probably because TV and Radio are two different medium, with distinct qualities to serve different purposes. Now at the age of technological, and even more important, cultural convergence, situation might just change. News blogs, wikis and online forums together with enormous YouTube video content, are evolving faster than the print media, and they have more to bet on. It might be time for the newspapers to reconsider evolving parallel to the online media, and offer readers something new, distinct and more value adding.
But the most ironic part of the article, is that the rescue mission to save the journalist’s jobs is led by the former PR guy, Brian Tierney. He is famous for saying that he will turn the industry around despite the people saying that pigs will fly before it happens. But maybe pigs don’t have to take off in order for journalists to start showing more respect to PR people, and cooperate in the face of common danger.