Is the media in decline?

  • Most of today’s media reporting is shallow with lack of in depth reporting.
  • People are turning away from social media as a source of news.
  • They refuse to take responsibility for creating media stories of people who either have no real accomplishments or make absurd claims.

Robert Reich had a good point about the media:

Memo to the press, after 18 months of Trump:

1. Stop treating Trump’s tweets as news.

2. Never believe a single word that comes out of his mouth.

3. Don’t fall for the reality-TV spectacles he creates. (For example, his meeting with Kim Jong-un.) They’re not news, either.

4. Don’t let his churlish thin-skinned vindictive narcissistic rants divert attention from what he’s really doing.

5. Focus on what he’s really doing, and put stories into this context. He’s: (1) undermining democratic institutions, (2) using his office for personal gain, (3) sowing division and hate, (4) cozying up to dictators while antagonizing our democratic allies around the world, (5) violating the rule of law, and (6) enriching America’s wealthy while harming the middle class and the poor. He may also be (7) colluding with Putin.

Then there is this breaking story, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has been indicted on federal wire fraud charges, the office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California announced Friday.  But if you read the book Bad Blood you’ll read how the business publications as well as TV put her on a pedestal an made her a star without doing due diligence.  Ironically, it was a reporter from the Wall Street Journal who outed her fraud.

When it comes to healthcare them media loves to blame the pharmaceutical companies even though prescription drugs only account for $0.11 of every healthcare dollar spent.  They don’t about the fact that obesity is costing us well over $250 billion a year in healthcare costs and that up to 40% of cancers are preventable.

So what’s going on here?  As Don Henley sang in “Dirty Laundry”

Well, I coulda been an actor, but I wound up here
I just have to look good, I don’t have to be clear
Come and whisper in my ear
Give us dirty laundry

Today we are all overwhelmed with content.  Who has time to really dig into news stories and form their own opinion when the media can do it for us?  It’s much easier to become a social media activist than actually do something.

There are so many examples of media stars who either have crashed or have no real accomplishments.  A good example is Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook.  Can anyone name one accomplishment while at Facebook?   Then there is Marissa Mayer the former head of Yahoo who hastened the sinking of one of the Interent’s top brands through poor business decisions.  While at Google she had her own PR person and graced the covers of Fortune and Business Week until she believed that she was bigger than she actually was.  Her media coverage did not align with her talent.

What does this mean for marketing?  It means that people are less likely to believe your claims and that you’re going to have to work harder to earn their trust and repeat business.  Disappoint your customers and they will drop you like a bad habit.

Luckily, there are some media outlets that still do a good job in reporting the news such as NPR and The Economist.  There is so much bad news and so much lying in the White House that people have become numb to seeking the truth.  The ripple of this is going to affect every aspect of marketing.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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