On October 5, 2009 I was listening to Michel Martin’s show, “Tell Me More”, on NPR. She was interviewing Mr. Richard Prince, and author, Ms. Callie Crossley, a journalist, and Mr. Jose Antonio Vargas, a Technology and Innovations editor.
They were discussing the magnitude of change taking place in the way that the public gets its news. Traditional mainstream media is dying for several reasons. But two key reasons stand out. First, consumers of information have more sources to choose from than ever before. Second, consumers are allowed to choose from a variety of sources and develop their own opinions.
Mainstream Media Faltered
Mainstream media is in the position it is in because it dropped the ball on reporting the news. The leaders of mainstream media tried to put themselves in a position of making the news. Their effort has become so blatant that the public no longer trusts them.
Social Media Steps In
Social Media has seized the opportunity to carve out a multitude of niche markets for media. When the public wants to find information on a specific subject they no longer have to hope that the network anchor has it in the agenda for the news report. They simply go find it on the Web. Individuals can use the search engines, their favorite news blogs, Twitter, facebook, or a multitude of other sources to find out what they want to find out. And then they are allowed to develop their own opinion.
Marketers Will Find Opportunities
Businesses need to learn how to use the changed structure of media. The opportunities are vast. Marketing dollars can be spent more efficiently than ever before. Leading edge businesses will find themselves spending less on marketing and getting more in return. And they will do it by spending less money in more places. The consumers of the broad news message did not disappear. They just went to hear what they wanted to hear. Now the business selling cheap beer doesn’t waste money marketing to the consumer of fine wine.