Local Media Is Dead. Get Over It.Mar 7th, 2009 | By James Lewin | Category: Commentary, Featured Story, Podcasting, Video
Computer World has published a smart piece by Mike Elgan that looks at why local newspapers are struggling:
The problem with newspapers is that they’re stuck on the old model, where every newspaper covers everything. And the more important the story, the less efficiently it gets covered.
Newspapers delude themselves into thinking that readers read nothing else. The assumption is that it’s not news until we cover it. So every newspaper covers the same story, wasting billions of dollars per year in duplicated effort industrywide.
And, for that matter, a related form of bigotry has always driven the whole “local” model for local radio and newspaper coverage. The model is based on pandering where the constantly reinforced message is that local people are better than people who aren’t local.
Now that the Internet has killed “local,” the survival adjustment that radio and newspaper companies must make is to cover local events for a global audience. Radio stations and newspapers must now consider the larger, newer audience, and stop the bigoted pandering. And they must also stop covering the larger world.
It’s time the so-called local media opened its eyes to the new reality: Nothing is local anymore. And it’s a huge opportunity. The new mantra should be: Cover local events exclusively, but for a global audience.
Elgan is right. When you’re used to getting your news over the Internet, watching the local TV news constantly try to work in a local angle for every story is painful. And getting yesterday’s news in your paper isn’t much better.
Local media is dead. Radio, TV, newspapers – all of it.
The Internet killed it.
The only way local media will survive is by operating with the same efficiency as new media companies and by delivering local news to the broadest possible audience – the world.
Think there’s still a future for the idea of local media? Leave a comment with your thoughts.