Top 5: Media Trends


1. Efficiency (Darwinism and Maximizer)


In our dog-eat-dog world, the laws of survival are pushing us to adapt or die. How is media adapting? Well, they are either maximizing their staff, finding new avenues to deliver their message (primarily online), or slashing their headcount. Some organizations are doing one, two or even all three of these strategies to stay afloat.


Over 16,000 journalists have lost their jobs, the Tribune Co (owner of the LA Times) filed Chapter 11, the 150-year old newspaper The Rocky Mountain Times closed its doors along with 120 newspapers, newspaper circulation is down 7% and the Christian Science Monitor dropped their daily print edition and shifted their content online. “The key for us and I think the key for the key for any news organization is to control your costs, use the internet for maximum reach and to work as efficiently as possible,” said John Yemma, Editor of the Christian Science Monitor.


To prepare for such a harsh environment, journalism students are learning a diverse skill-set to deal with the mounting layoffs. Thought print is an integral part of journalism, as it teaches you how to write, it is being pushed aside by other curriculum. Writing and editing for digital video and audio is taking center stage as academia catches up to the seismic shifts in the media industry.


2. Multi-Platform (Sensory Mash-up)


As consumers look to the web for information and entertainment—or a blending of the two—media has a unique opportunity to capture this audience with engaging content. This means video, audio, real-time updates, social media, blogs, citizen journalism and the list goes on. Offering compelling content that engages readers is elemental in the viability and survival of media outlets.


Media companies are telling stories across platforms, using television for sensational stories, showing the B-roll and real-time updated online, and bringing in additional commentary and photos in print.  Newspapers can be broadcast reporters or the two could converge to deliver truly outstanding local content. USTREAM is a prime example of stations going live online. FOX and CBS can broadcast live from any location in the world with their USTREAM feeds.


Another strategy to engage users is packing useful information into a graphic, or even better, an interactive feature. The New York Times had a “Presidential Map” for the 2008 elections. As the average reporter’s skill set becomes more diverse and tech-savvy, the need for “experts” is reduced. The result: the average reporter turns into a broadcast team of one.