Daily Variety, the Hollywood trade paper, was the latest to succumb, ceasing daily publication and becoming an online magazine with a weekly print edition. Last December, Newsweek issued its final print edition and was folded into the online magazine The Daily Beast. Both had been journalistic fixtures for eight decades.
In the past five years, hundreds of newspapers and magazines have been shuttered, gone online only, or become ghosts of their former selves with shrunken frequency, content and staff. Their business model had fallen apart as a brutal recession and the Internet robbed them of advertising revenue and the instant availability of digital news undermined their raison d’être.
Relevance was a factor. From the time the presses roll until print publications land on your doorstep or in your mailbox, the lag time is several hours for newspapers and days for magazines. By the time they arrive, the news is stale. Less reason to subscribe to print.
This doesn’t mean the industry is dying. It’s evolving. Tools for transmitting news have changed, and the most influential and successful news organizations are adopting them. They are bringing news to readers online with speed, accuracy and depth that is unmatched. It’s quick, convenient and will continue to eclipse print.
But don’t get carried away. The medium isn’t the message. The medium is only the medium.
Good journalism is defined by its content. At the end of the day, the quality of the news is the message, regardless of how you receive it.
What’s this digital shift bode for Crisis & Reputation Management? Foremost is the increase in speed and decrease in accuracy. For the media, beating the competition is measured in seconds, not hours. With pressure so intense and little time to verify, errors are inevitable.
You must be faster. With your reputation on the line, the stakes are high. Delay isn’t an option.
“Because Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset”
Gillott Communications is a Los Angeles-based public relations firm that specializes in high-stakes Crisis & Reputation Management. If you don’t already subscribe, please sign up for our blog Insights on High-Stakes PR. You can reach Roger Gillott directly at 310-826-8696.