When everyone has a voice and is able to speak to the global village, do traditional media ethics still have a place in an information-saturated environment? How playing catch-up in the ads and ratings game might mean the decline and collapse of journalism as a public trust.
By KARL R. De MESA
“I want to kill my magazine,” she said.
I asked her why.
“Because it’s not making money. My team is stressed to make good content and our marketing people are hard pressed to sell the physical subscriptions. Even at points of sale. Everybody’s losing.”
I held this conversation with an editor of a company that produces product catalogs and occasional business features for industries ranging from clothing to electronics.
Their magazines had been the preferred black book source for industry suppliers on the planet for more than 30 years. If you needed a button for a line of coats you were making you had the run of the list of the big to medium manufacturers of buttons from shiny to matte all between covers on a monthly basis. If you needed a couple of thousand plastic rotors for your cooling fan unit you bought their magazine.
That is, until they started making these same magazines available for download -- for free -- in PDF files. Sales of the glossies have since plummeted across the board.
Around the world, my friend’s sentiments are being echoed in much the same way: we’re hurting and we don’t know what to do about it. The Big Bang of media change is here. And there’s no denying that it’s affecting print, broadcast and radio adversely. . .
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