The Death Of Traditional Media

I’ve talked about this from time to time. There is a life cycle to everything we experience. Think about it for a minute. What things did you use and couldn’t get along without when you were a kid? Are those things still around? Are they still that important? Probably not.

Everything out there has a birth, a life, a death, and sometimes, as in the case of media, a rebirth. As society moves forward, and technology continues to improve, old, tired media find a way to die off. Of course, they always are fighting to stay alive. I guess that’s the humaness in us all…even media.

Let me refresh if you haven’t heard the life/death/rebirth story before. When Guttenberg invented the movable type printing press, newspapers became all the rage. That was where people got their news…and it stayed that way for almost 500 years. Then radio came along, and the immediacy of radio overtook newspapers. No longer could you have a kid on the street corner shouting “Extra, Extra! Read all about it!” Radio had already covered it.

So, newspapers had to “reborn” themselves, and they did by going more in depth. Radio dealt in time, not pages, so newspapers could go much farther in depth with a story than radio could. And radio flourished as the entertainment medium until the 1940’s when TV came into the picture. At that point, radio had to give up the entertainment side… at least as far as the soap operas and spoken word shows were concerned. But radio was reborn into a music medium. In the 1980’s AM radio was reborn into a talk medium.

TV ran into trouble when cable television came along in the 1970’s. And the news on TV in the form of the network newscasts started fading out. No longer were Walter Cronkite and Huntley/Brinkley standard fare. In the 1990’s with the first Gulf War, CNN showed the world what cable could do better than broadcast TV.

It’s happening again with all of those media in form of the internet. It’s where we get informed, it’s where we get entertained. It’s a part of our lives. And it’s killing off newspapers once and for all.

The Denver Post has cut it’s reporting staff to the bones, while offering it’s readers much less news. And, it’s raised rates to the moon. That’s a recipe for disaster in anybody’s book. Now comes word the Salt Lake City Tribune has laid off a third of it’s reporters. It’s just too expensive to continue. So has the New York Times, and other big newspapers. In fact, there has been one daily start up of newspapers since World War II. It’s called USA Today. Other than that, every single daily start up has failed. Newspaper and magazines are dying their last breath. They will be consumed by the internet. And it will happen sooner rather than later, get used to it.

The internet is also killing TV with things like Netflix and Hulu. And local radio is already a thing of the past. IHeartRadio (which is owned by a company that owns radio stations) is basically accelerating the death by allowing listeners to listen online anywhere to anything.

Somewhere up the road, the internet will die. I have no idea what it will be replaced with, but it will be something awesome. It’s been the media giant slayer ever since it’s inception!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!


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