Posts Tagged ‘newspapers’

The Message or the Media?

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009 by Rob Brown

newspapers.jpg 

Marshall McLuhan, the Canadian philosopher and professor said that media themselves and not the stories they carry are important; their characteristics being more significant and influential than their content.  He famously proclaimed that “the medium is the message”.

With the myriad reports of the decline of newspapers and broadcasters it is tempting to believe that what McLuhan pronounced is in the process of being disproved.  It is argued that the channel is not important, the stories, if good enough will find us.  Content rules supreme.   Well yes and no.   By way of example I cross posted the same story in two blogs last week.  Here at PR Media Blog and on PR and The Social Web.  The story (about real and fake celebrity twitters) gained more than double the number views here at PRMB, because this is the blog with more authority, both in the literal sense and in the Technorati sense. (Google the words PR and Blog if you need confirmation).

Whilst new arrivals on the web battle to gain trust and authority much of the media old guard arrives on the web with their authority established.  Journalistic ethics and accuracy will continue to carry weight no matter how easy it becomes for arrivistes to establish a presence through the web.   There is good reason for this; we can trust traditional media because we have learnt that the trust is well placed and because they operate checks and balances to ensure quality and veracity.   In time many print newspapers will disappear but the best will survive, thrive and continue to set the news agenda, with their pixellated versions gradually replacing the ink and paper.

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

2009 under the media microscope

Monday, January 5th, 2009 by Jon Clements

 

Hello again and Happy New Year!

After a short hiatus, PR Media Blog is back on the beat.

And what better place to start than today’s Media Guardian, whch gives a pretty exhaustive forecast of the new world facing the media in 2009.

Here is a sample of the most interesting views from the massed media commentators. Have they got it right? PR Media Blog will be keeping an eye on things as the media circus rolls on into another year.

“Leading web thinker” Clay Shirky with his media forecast for 2009: “Newspapers are going to get more and less elitist…a small, niche publication that says: ‘We’re only opening our mouths when what we say is demonstrably superior to anything else on the subject.’ The populist model is: ‘We’re going to take all the news pieces we get and have an enormous amount of commentary. It’s whatever the readers want to talk about.”

Gareth McClean on TV programmes: “As money becomes scarce, ratings will become more important…drama finds itself under siege from light entertainment – and factual entertainment and anything else that’s cheaper, which is basically everything – like never before.”

John Plunkett on Radio: “If ever there was a time for commercial radio to strike back in the ratings war, then surely this is it…expect more commercial stations to go to the wall, expect BBC radio to be less sure of itself, expect uncertainty over DAB to continue – expect a bloody battle.”

Roy Greenslade on newspapers: “The importance of online journalism cannot be stressed too often. It is foolish to call it the future because the future is now…the fight that counts in 2009 is the one for online eyeballs seeking news and informed comment, not for the passive audience handed a freesheet with the minimum of journalistic merit or public benefit.”

Peter Wilby on journalism: “Mass market journalism – short, snappy news items alongside gossip, glamour and articulate prejudice – is by definition doomed…serious journalism will triumph by default.”

Oliver Luft on magazines: “Business publishers may look at greater innovation online to find revenue that goes beyond the blunt approach of either subscription or open access…consumer titles will focus on ways to deliver more audience to print advertisers they want to bring over to the web.”

Danny Rogers on PR: “PR helps organisations create ongoing dialogue with their audiences. The growth of blogs, social networking and Google made this essential if today’s companies, products, governments, celebrities and charities were to impress and thrive. And despite the current recession, this underlying trend remains.”

Jemima Kiss on Digital media: “One of the most powerful technology trends of 2008 was the shift from sites as destinations to open, sharing platforms…Big media needs to start thinking like this…it’s about being resourceful and flexible in order to survive.”

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Tomorrow’s Chip Paper

Thursday, December 4th, 2008 by Rob Brown

Ocean Basket Seafood Restaurant: Fish & Chips

When I was a kid I loved everything about fish and chips.  There was something almost decadent about it, the smell of vinegar drifting up the street from the chippy.  Unfolding the sheaves of newspaper to get at those hot, tender morsels. Being treated to an extra meal by a conspiratorial uncle – it was all good.

Before the chippies started to fade from our street corners, they started to abandon the newspaper as the standard wrapping for their culinary gifts, perhaps it wasn’t regarded as sufficiently hygienic.  We lost something there, but if you told me that one day the newspapers themselves might start to disappear I would have been aghast at the very idea.

There is attrition today in newsrooms around the world.  With the rise of digital and the emergence of new sources of news, even the BBC used twitter to inform their coverage of the Mumbai attacks, circulations and revenues are falling.  Yesterday all of the news staff at the Glasgow Herald, Evening Times and Sunday Herald were made redundant and invited to reapply for a smaller number of roles.

I predict that in less than two years the rationalisation of our national dailies will begin, with closures and mergers leaving news stands that bit lighter.   Don’t get me wrong I like the choices that are laid before us.  There are still chippies and there will always be newspapers but we are all adjusting to a new daily diet.  We just need to be mindful to preserve the best of what we have; whatever the recipe, whatever the format.  

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).