Innovations like “Living Stories” from Google Labs along with better and much cheaper e-readers to replace newsprint, will ensure that much of the legacy media survives. Which, for all that media’s faults, is good.
Let’s face it; for all the talk of a “new business model” needed for the legacy media, the so-called “citizen media” isn’t it. An infinite number of untrained, amateurs MIGHT theoretically give you what the major newspapers do, just as an infinite number of monkeys might tap out all the works of Shakespeare. But how much time do you have to read through all that monkey typing? No one will ever expand the day to longer than 24 hours; our reading time will always be precious.
Too, there is the aspect of the citizen media that I’m hardly the first to point out – most of the news the citizen media “break” comprises links to the legacy media, even if it’s in a negative connotation. There’s very little generation of fresh content out there other than at the fringes, such as commenting on the legacy media’s fresh content. You hear about each and every true scoop, as with the Acorn revelations, precisely because they are so very rare.
The citizen media can be a good supplement – and it can also be trash – but at its very best, it cannot be a replacement for trained, skilled reporters working full-time at their jobs. Before you bloggers take a jab at me, tell me the last time YOU broke a truly original news story. No, not somebody else – you.