Publishing in print and the ‘net – and how it is and isn’t working

In a recent column from Bob Cringely (his pseudonym), he boils down the real “business problem” for us in all media. The media advertising market itself is stagnant or shrinking –

  • including problems with online.
  • There’s the old saying – “everyone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.” Online, everyone wants a robust web experience, but it seems like nobody wants to pay.

    OK – some of us pay. But just a fraction of the regular online-active users. Many users DO pay, but it is to AOL or Comcast or Roadrunner. Yahoo News may be the top internet portal, but most of their content comes from others (although I understand that they DO pay something for the privilege of using content from others). Other web news portals have been laying off staff and cutting back.

    So how do we survive and thrive in an environment where “flat” revenue will be considered best case? Maybe this is cyclical, but I suspect it is not.

    That’s where that “trust” and “ethics” theme returns. In public media, it is an edge, if we can keep it. Business models and technology don’t alone don’t sustain what we’re about – accurate, independent and accessible.


    About sehanley

    Musician, journalist, teacher, technologist, consultant & former NPR station manager. A media and entertainment professional, journalist, entrepreneur, technology advocate, educator, student, mentor, manager, and media, musical and theatrical performer. Voice talent and coach for music and spoken word. I also act and sing (mostly jazz, but a lot of experience with choral, classical and musical theater, too). Brass instruments, too, but my AF ofM card lapsed years ago. Heard on the national jazz service, PubJazz, and in the Pittsburgh market on WZUM/Pittsburgh Jazz Channel. I also teach college level courses in media and journalism. I managed the leading NPR/public radio station in Pittsburgh, PA for 16 years, a few years later was GM of the NPR station WBHM in Birmingham, AL. I served for six very busy years on the NPR Board of Directors and have done much volunteer service for national and local organizations in the communities I have been privileged to live and work in. Former NPR Board Member, former President of the Pittsburgh Radio Organization, sometime musician, relentless technology advocate. Opinions expressed are not the viewpoints of any employer or affiliation past or present.
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