Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Funday: The Way Out

Normally on Friday, we try to keep the mood lighter - and that is our intention, though it may not seem like it as we we begin today.

But first we have to report another vicious blow to America, with the incredibly stupid decision by Gannett Newspapers to put at least 700 more Americans onto the unemployment rolls.

We could rail against the insanity of such a decision - and internally, we are doing just that.

But it's Friday, so we're not going to dwell on the decisions of those who are incapable of seeing beyond the quarterly earnings statement. In time, the market will crush them into dust for their lack of vision - something successful investors like Warren Buffett continue to remind others about.

What we wish to point out to our former print colleagues in the media is something our web guru has been preaching to newspapers and radio stations and other "old school" media for years, now...

The idea that newspapers are dead is bull.
Old newspapers never die. They just get digitized - like every other type of media.

The problem that so many inside and outside the media field continue to have is that they confuse the medium with the message, just as Marshall McCluhan pointed out nearly fifty years ago.

The fact is, even though we have a huge number of new ways to consume media - Kindles, iPads, cell phones, and more - the MEDIA that we're taking in is the same as it was before. Someone has to draw the cartoons, someone has to write the words, and someone needs to edit the content and make sure things aren't misspelled or misinterpreted (Hear, us, bloggers?). If it's pictures, someone has to shoot the images. Of course, someone has to edit, lay out, and publish all of this content, as well.

Here's what the "newspaper" giants like Gannett won't tell you - they're really doing quite well financially, thanks to all their other divisions. Divisions which almost always crib their content from the original content created for "print products." Without the "print" creators, their other divisions will crumble.

Think about Hollywood movie blockbusters right now - where would they be without comic book writers and artists?

What's more, media consumption is on the increase worldwide. In America, we're taking in nearly 35% more media than we did just a few years ago. By the way, that increase came during the recession we're all still suffering through.

It's not that people aren't reading the newspaper any more. They are. You're reading a version of a newspaper right now. It's just one made up of pixels and glass, instead of ink and pulp.

So if you're one of our media colleagues suddenly looking for work again, take heart - your creative talents are still needed, and will continue to be needed in the future.

People will always have a need for someone creative to write, draw, photgraph, and edit the things they all enjoy reading.

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