A Disappearing Divide

A Disappearing Divide

New York Times media columnist David Carr shares some thoughts in a recent column about journalists moving to the Web, and the disappearing divide between online and print media. He highlights some of the struggles media companies continue to face and shares some of his own experiences walking the line.

* “More and more, media outlets are becoming a federation of individual brands like Mr. Kurtz. Journalism is starting to look like sports, where a cast of role players serves as a platform and context for highly paid, high-impact players. And those who cross over, after years of pushing copy through the print apparatus, will experience the allure of knocking some copy into WordPress and sending it out into the world to fend for itself.”

* “It was clear back then [a decade ago] that the Web, with its low-cost, friction-free distribution, was a remarkable way to publish. But 10 years later, paying for reporting on the Web remains daunting. The reason that newspapers put all the white paper out on the street is that we get a lot of green paper back in return. Put out all the pixels you want, even ones that render scoops, and you will still receive pennies in return.”

* “On a journalistic level, the new playing field is more even. Many people see the news in aggregated form on the Web, and when they notice a link that interests them, they click on it with nary a thought about the news organization behind it. Information stands or falls on its magnetism, with brand pedigree becoming secondary.

“More and more, the dichotomy between mainstream media and digital media is a false one. Formerly clear bright lines are being erased all over the place. Open up Gawker, CNN, NPR and The Wall Street Journal on an iPad and tell me without looking at the name which is a blog, a television brand, a radio network, a newspaper. They all have text, links, video and pictures. The new frame around content is changing how people see and interact with the picture in the middle.”

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