The media industry seems to be in turmoil (like a lot of industries) due to its sheer size. Let’s face it, the average newspaper is massive, in terms of staff, in terms of sections/categories and in terms of archive material. To save money and maximise revenue it would seem logical to me that any company would look at ways to cut costs.
How should newspapers do this? Should they reduce the amount of staff they employ?
Some would argue they already have, and to the detriment of quality journalism, but could the paper focus its energies on specialised content? Murdoch is quick to point to the success of the Wall Street Journal, is this the key? Charge for specialised content?
I’m not convinced, I believe that any paper whether in print or especially online should be getting enough eyeballs to generate advertising revenue. If this revenue is not enough to cover costs and generate a profit then there is something wrong. Who are your advertisers? How much are you charging? Is this representative of the coverage you offer your advertisers? Are you choosing advertisers that meet your user base?
So many questions but I feel those inside the media industry are simply not asking them and instead are pointing their fingers at rivals.
Is it greed? Could it be that the bottom line is corrupting their judgement and forcing media companies to pursue a holy grail which doesn’t exist and by the time they realise this the industry will have consolidated? Meaning less media organisations and less titles.
Where is the innovation in the sector? Any innovation seems to be coming from new entrants i.e. sophisticated blogs and those who focus on niche markets, but the traditional media outlets seem stuck in their old ways. Some regional papers do not even publish online or only offer a very basic service.
Where will the industry go, will it downsize and specialise or will it stagnate?