IN SUMMARY: There is a huge difference between content and journalism as traditional media is finding out. The death of traditional media comes from a shortsighted view and a bottom line balance sheet approach to news.
Not too long ago I took advantage of an offer for the Wall Street Journal. after four weeks of reading the daily newspaper, I’m not going to renew my subscription. Their stories are nothing but content as they laid off a substantial number of journalists and replaced them with content producers.
It’s not hard to see that traditional media outlets are in dire straits. Time magazine is a shell of its former self, New York’s Daily News was bought and the new owners subsequently fired most of the staff and other real news organizations are being replaced with content sites like Business Insider.
Some blame Facebook for the decline in traditional media but the blame lies in their inability to produce stories that people want to read. The New York Times, for example, is doing very well especially in their digital editions.
In an era of fake news, we are in desperate need of real journalists who can go beyond headlines and ask the hard questions that need to be asked. A good news story informs and educates readers, but today shallow news is more common.
Some newspapers thrive with trash journalism like the NY Post, but if someone asked me to name a real journalist, I would have a problem beyond the writer who broke the Theranos story on the WSJ.
Attract readers and build an audience is the core of any media strategy. Today, however, it’s cut staff, reduce journalists who have experience because they cost too much and add content.
Traditional media is in a nosedive at a time when Americans need insights and explanations instead of headlines.