Hot off the press. Traditional media still king.

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According to the 2009 State of the First Amendment Survey, most Americans prefer getting their news from traditional media.   In a recent press release, Gene Policinski, vice president and executive director of the First Amendment Center said,

“…while new forms of obtaining information, including Twitter and social media are much discussed and growing in use, most Americans continue to rely on the same news organizations — including the news reports picked up by online news providers — on which they have relied for decades.”

This is not surprising since the majority of overall advertising budgets are still spent on traditional media, and only a fraction goes to new media. Wherever the most eyeballs go, so goes the budgets. But that small fraction continues to expand and will continue to grow as more people turn to the Internet for their information and entertainment needs. Some traditional media outlets have radically changed their models and have incorporated digital strategies like social media and blogging as part of their news network and are working with bloggers and tweeters to better take advantage of the digital frontier. However, some media sources, like AP News, are trying to regulate their content by putting forth strict guidelines designed to control how their stories are spread across the Internet. Last year, popular site TechCrunch announced it would ban articles and information coming from AP news in response to actions taken by AP News against a popular news aggregate which used their content without permission. More recently, TechCrunch wrote an interesting article titled,  “Behind The A.P.’s Plan To Become The Web’s News Cop”.  Also, in a recent ibrandcasting post, I wrote about popular bloggers in Germany who released a manifesto that appears to directly challenge traditional news outlets like AP News and promotes the free flow of information. The role of traditional media in the digital landscape is still a bit blurry. Whether traditional media embraces new technology or tries to mold it as they see fit, one thing is for sure; in the card game of news, traditional media still holds a pretty decent hand.

German bloggers go big with journalism manifesto.

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Fifteen of Germany’s most prolific bloggers have stirred up quite the hornet’s nest by releasing what they are calling “The Internet Manifesto. How journalism works today. Seventeen declarations.”   According to TechCrunch Europe,  just hours after the release, servers got slammed by an onslaught of visitors and the site shuttered. The instant attention it gained was a magnificent example of how powerful a medium the Internet can be. The manifesto appears to be a direct shot across the bow of traditional media and aims to further challenge news and media outlets to adapt or change the way they think about this brave new world. I found the second tenet of the manifesto most interesting. It says,

2. The Internet is a pocket-sized media empire.
The web rearranges existing media structures by transcending their former boundaries and oligopolies. The publication and dissemination of media contents are no longer tied to heavy investments. Journalism’s self-conception is-fortunately-being cured of its gatekeeping function. All that remains is the journalistic quality through which journalism distinguishes itself from mere publication.”

In other words, journalism is becoming less a platform for making money, and more a platform for spreading ideas, information and news. This implies that the days of paying for your news and information are slowly winding down. The manifesto has thus far been translated into nine languages and will continue to spread on the Internet. This puts the concept of journalism on the world stage where people of different cultures can take part. Where else can you do that? And you can expect traditional pulp based news to carry the story in addition, gaining even more momentum. In Europe, it’s already shown up in ink of the non-digital ilk. When was the last time some copywriting gained the attention of the entire world? OK, maybe The Bible falls into that category, but even that took a few thousand years to get take hold.

Blip.tv offers up video content you won’t find on the networks.

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I came across an interesting video post on Business Insider discussing the subject of how traditional media and new media are after different things and how that effects relationships with independent content creators.  The gist of it is that independent content creators may shy away from networks because they want to retain the control of what they produce. This way, they own their own creation, and don’t have to give up intellectual property rights up to a big conglomerate and they can spread their content over multiple access points instead of  just one access point (e.g., a network television station). Why wouldn’t you want your opus to be found in multiple formats like embedded clips, on YouTube, on blip.tv on your own branded website, etc. While the Interweb continues to be an open format that encourages content distribution via multiple platforms, old media continues to find innovative ways to control it’s content and how and where its audience views aforementioned content, thus, in my opinion, missing out on opportunities to showcase fresh new content from people not willing to give up their intellectual property rights. On the other end of the spectrum are companies like Blip.tv which encourages the sharing of content AND offers distribution via multiple platforms. What’s ridunculously cool is that if you have a high-quality vid, blip.tv even allows you to distribute across the TiVo platform, which I find extremely cool. For more on Blip.tv and how independent content creators are taking the Internet by storm, click on  the video below for an interview with Dina Kaplan, Co-Founder of blip.tv

Moms drop traditional media for digital.

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Women are among the most coveted audiences for magazine readership. However, new data suggests that moms are trending away from traditional print media and replacing their free hours once spent with pulp driven offerings with the digital sort. According to a recent report posted by MediaWeek, of 25,000 respondents, 49 percent of women said their magazine reading time went down after giving birth and 46 percent said the same about their newspapers. Of that same survey, 63 percent said they were active on digital social networks like mommy blogs, facebook and other sites that focus on families and child-rearing. The rise in digital popularity among the mommy set may be due to the fact that digital media allows for an effortless two-way conversation that encourages moms to interact with other moms, experts and even advertisers who specialize in products for kids and moms. This may be a wake-up call for magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Woman’s Day and Ladies Home Journal who are all in the top ten list for the category of largest magazine distribution in the US and good news for sites like Facebook, BabyCenter and mommy blogs.