Print Media Losing Control

KQED has some interesting insights into the news business this morning.

A big shift happened in news and information over the past few years: The people who write news and information no longer control the distribution of it. Technology companies do.

Specifically, they are thinking about Twitter and Facebook, but it was blogging that started the shift. The software developer and “father of blogging,” Dave Winer, puts a finer point on it:

“Journalism stood by while blogging took root. They covered it, but largely dismissed it. They ignored RSS. They ignored everything, including the threat to their art. I warned them many times, here on, that they would regret letting the tech industry own their distribution system. But that’s what happened. Without any resistance whatsoever. Journalism let tech move in and take over.”

As blogging got started in Nevada County, several local bloggers organized a meeting with The Union and KNCO about integrating blogging into the local news cycle. We were rebuffed, the Union publisher told us we were just a fad that would soon pass. KNCO just ignored us. When it was clear that blogging was not a fad, The Union circled the wagons and started doing some blogging on corporate servers, using a one-fits-all tool that was too clumsy and inflexible to meet local needs. Unable to adopt, The Union tossed in the towel.

Only two bloggers pretend to be news sources, Sierra Foothills Report and Yubanet. Most are commentaries on the news and events, Rebane’s Ruminations being one of the most active with 100s of comments on some posts.

Both George Rebane and I tried to integrate with a Sac Bee Program called Connect, but the liberal editors were not interest in comment from conservative commentators. We dropped out of the program when our posts were ignored, editors favoring fluffy patter over more hard core analysis and commentary.

It was all about control, and now they have lost it. They now have to compete with the bloggers, twitters, and facebookers, and print media is loosing the battle according to the KQED article.

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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