Why should journalists not be part of this viral trend on YouTube? Check out Sh*t Journalists Say
Our blog, Mack the Flack, explores PR, journalism, and communications trends in the digital age
Archive for January, 2012
On the surface, things appear economically gloomy for newspapers.
In 2011, 111 newspapers folded in the U.S. Another 41 were lost through mergers.
Of the 111, two-thirds were weeklies. The big dailies weren’t immune. They closed 20 bureaus in the U.S. (Sorry, no numbers for Canada).
When you read those stats its easy to predict the end of traditional newspapers as we know it. They simply can’t adapt to the changing times.
Indeed, tough times for print. But if you’ve concluded newspapers are going the way of the dodo bird, you need to view this like a journalist – there’s another side to this story.
There were actually 201 newspaper launches in 2011. But not all of them require a printing press to get their news out.
Of those 201 launches, 79 per cent were online only, 13 per cent were weeklies, monthly newspapers made up seven per cent and just one per cent dailies.
There’s an increasing emphasis on online, with most newspapers a hybrid of print and web. Some, like the New York Times, are using a “paywall” model (content is only available through paid subscription).
Many newspapers that have gone to an entirely online model are providing “hyperlocal” news. One of the leading publishers of this is Patch.com, which has launched 700 hyperlocal news sites in the last three years.
For more on how newspapers are adapting, read the 2012 State of the Media Report published by Vocus.com.
Learn more about how newspapers are changing, register for the September 2012 New Media Journalism Program.
Newspapers, TV and radio are no longer the dominant purveyors of news. The competition for readers and viewers now includes blogs, news aggregation websites (such as Yahoo News, Reddit and Bing News), FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter and other social media. And for a short time the newbies had the jump on the old news media because they told their stories instantly.
That’s not the case anymore with traditional media creating websites, twitter feeds, YouTube channels and a slew of other online platforms intended to reach a large audience. It’s been a case of evolve or die.
And a new type of journalist has been at the forefront of that adaption.
Mashable.com, the everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know social media and technology blog, compiled some must-have skills and traits for today’s digital reporter. Checkout the link.
Learn more about how journalists are using social media in their work, register for the September 2012 New Media Journalism Program.
The news media is preoccupied with bad news because it sells. Death, crime, disasters and finding nasty things in beer bottles are interesting.
Good news, also interesting, is harder to find. Mack recently found great news about murder tucked in the back of his local newspaper (yep, he’s a bit old school).
For the first time in almost half a century murder has fallen off the top 15 causes of death in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
More good news from the CDC:
· Infant mortality has dropped to an all-time low
· Life expectancy continues to rise
· Death rates from heart disease and cancer, which account for nearly 50% of all deaths, continues to drop
Learn what makes good and bad news, register for SFU’s Public Relations Program
There are more than 156 million blogs on the internet. Mommy Blogs featuring commentary and discussions about the home, family and parenting are particularly popular numbering at least 4 million worldwide.
But things have changed in the mommy blogosphere. Authentic discussions and advice about stay-at-home loneliness and child rearing have been replaced by ads for high end strollers and coupons for dog raincoats.
The monetization of most mommy blogs saddens Mack. As a former stay at home dad he misses the wisdom of the pre-commercialized blogs.
Today’s mommy blogs are all about the money. Blogolla – the cash, free samples, discounts, and sponsorships given to bloggers by companies – has created a place where never is heard a negative word about anything. Genuine information sharing and support has morphed into just another marketing channel.
Learn about the importance of authentic social media networking.
Register for our September 2012 Public Relations Program
Social media and the Internet have changed everything for journalists. The print edition or broadcast are no longer our masters. The pen, notebook and phone, once the primary tools of the trade, are joined by digital devices, a lengthy list of social media networks and online sites we can use to research and communicate our stories.
Journalism is being redefined and the New Media or Digital Journalist must wear many hats. The content they create is multi-media, audiences are spoken to across many platforms and our audience now changes channels or read another newspaper with a click of a mouse. To keep current, journalists and news organizations are looking at different models to create and deliver information, as well as business innovations to support these new models.
The goal of WiredReporter is to discuss the latest digital tools journalists are using and delve into the issues we face. It’s an open moderated forum so feel free to comment, add links to interesting articles or just discuss your own experiences.
Here’s a quote to consider as we witness the changing face of journalism:
“I believe this is both a difficult and exciting time in journalism. The old paradigm is dying. The monopoly/ologopoly that news organizations once enjoyed is breaking apart. Amid all the disruption, something new is being born. The new paradigm is more democratic and comprehensive than the old one. The key is to make sure that it has substantive journalism.”
– John Yemma, Editor of the Christian Science Monitor.
There’s an old PR saying that “perception is reality”; how better to explain why three struggling organizations facing possible bankruptcy poured salt on their fiscal wounds with bad PR decisions.
Mack isn’t saying these companies face oblivion because of bad PR; rather these bad moves are symptoms of failure. Poorly run organizations are often PR disasters waiting to happen.
The Bad PR three:
· Kodak – the 131 year-old photo firm failed to adapt to a digital world. Spent tons of cash it couldn’t afford promoting itself on “Real Housewives”. Expected to file for bankruptcy this month.
· Sears – failed to adjust its retail model. Will close 120 stores and has seen its share price drop 73% since being bought by Sears Holdings in 2005. Pushed the state of Illinois to pay it to keep its head office in Chicago.
· Research in Motion – lost out to other mobile technologies. Product delays, layoffs and a share drop of 75% in 2011. Its PlayBook tablet launch was a textbook PR disaster.
Learn the correlation between perception and reality. Register for the SFU Public Relations Program
The holidays are past, the extra pounds have arrived, and it’s time to hit the gym. Well-intentioned, you’ll face throngs of fellow gym recruits. Gym membership in North America has increased 25% in the past decade. But by late March the line for the treadmill will thin as 30% of fitness club members stop coming.
As Mack heads back to his gym this month, here are four things the fitness club folks don’t want you to know:
· “Everything you touch is covered with bacteria.” Sweaty gyms are great for catching everything from athlete’s foot to the flu. Wipe equipment down, wear flip flops in the change room.
· “Our trainers don’t know what they’re doing.” Being buff doesn’t make a trainer. Hire someone who’s certified by a recognized program.
· “Our equipment can be dangerous.” Poorly serviced equipment can injure. Pick a gym with maintained equipment.
· “We won’t let you quit.” Cancelling gym memberships are frequent complaints. Read the fine print.
Learn the facts of crisis communications. Register for SFU’s Public Relations Certificate Program.