Two reads in the past two days have me thinking about the future of media companies and helped me reached a conclusion.
Both pieces were written in the wake of the examination of the 2012 Presidential Election results. They are:
- The Newsonomics of the Newspaper Industry as the Republican Party by Ken Doctor
- Newspaper endorsements: Out of step? by Alan Mutter
My conclusion: Newspaper companies are out of touch with the communities they serve. The impact is felt tangibly: shrinking audience, less revenue and lack of innovation.
Mutter’s focus is on newspaper endorsements. I could care less about who a newspaper endorses or if it reflects the majority opinion of voters in its readership. Media companies should take a stand and converse openly and collaboratively about it with its community. It’s the latter that rarely occurs, however. It remains the one-way megaphone form of communication.
Mutter’s money quote: “The fact that so many newspapers were not on the same page as the majority of voters in several swing states in this election suggests they may be dangerously out of tune with the communities they serve.”
Doctor focuses on demographics saying “the people creating the news look less and less like the communities they cover.” He offers three approaches to solving that issue: people, products and position.
I don’t have the answers. There is still much talk about digital first and creating content differently. Good things are happening, but it’s not enough.