THE OLD MEDIUM IS A MESS
Great cover story today in The New York Observer entitled, “Convention Pits Texting vs. Press.” Amid the buzz surrounding the Obama camp’s intention to release the VP choice via text message, the article focuses on how print journalists at the DNC just aren’t getting many exclusive (or good) stories that aren’t being told elsewhere.
Gail Collins of The New York Times was quoted as saying “There’s 10 million people watching TV, and if we can’t find something that’s not on the TV to be useful about, then what the hell is my paper paying me to be here? I feel morally obliged to be running around futilely trying to find something.”
In today’s new world of instant communication, it’s that much harder for print reporters to find good stories. As the article states, “For journalists being powerful in the arenas they cover is as significant as being powerful in their own industry. A political reporter wants to cover politics.”
The New York Times’ chief political reporter, Adam Nagourney said, “If you come here and David Axelrod came walking down the aisle over there, there’d be 500 people around him, and you’d be getting the most boilerplate quotes. So what’s the point?”
I don’t believe print journalism is dead (as some have surmised). But the old medium is a mess. Every aspect of the world has changed, and journalists and media have to learn to deal with it. There’s much more competition and instant communication and much less exclusivity.
PR people need to continue to nurture relationships and feed media stories, but also learn to function differently as well. This article is interesting reading for all of us concerned with spin and what media is thinking, and how they are continuing to evolve.