Now that we are fully involved in the internet age, and the recession seems to becoming an excuse for all sorts of job cuts are reorganization, many people are claiming that mainstream media (MSM) is dead; they can no longer compete with blogs and twitter and their organizational structure doesn’t allow them to get to the breaking news as fast as “the man on the street”.
I hope, for all our sake, that this isn’t the case. My reasons are not personal, nor are they because I have a favorite MSM news source. Rather, there is something about a news corporation’s ability to gather and report on news that is vital to a healthy democracy. (I’m going to have to leave that thought there for now, it’ll be something I come back to in a later post)
But in order to avoid falling into this recessionary mindset; that the only solution is to give up, or to think that the internet is out to get them, the MSM needs to embrace the web, and combine its features with their resources.
And that is why I am so happy to see what is going on here in the city of London. The local paper; the London Free Press, is heavily involved in Twitter. Not just as a newswire, but personal accounts from their editors and journalists. The LFP has gotten into live streaming events around the City and many of their personallities blog. A real blog with comments and an RSS feed.
Some of the radio stations in the city have also jumped on the Twitter bandwagon. And they too are actively involved in building a community with their listeners online.
But London’s MSM is not there yet. They still have a few vestigial behaviors. Here is my list of what still needs to be done (Its not particular to the LFP either).
- We work together – make it easy for us to provide you with our opinion and the news see happening everyday around us. And then make it easier for us to consume your product. Which means:
- Redesign your web interface so that it actually contains more content then ads. That might involve
- Getting out from under your parent corporation
Now I don’t think that the last one is really a possibility. But in order for MSM and news in London to become fully social again (I would argue that at one point in history news was an incredible social activity) we need to become completely local – with no outside influence explaining how things should be run.