Old Media Isn’t Dead; They’ve Just Lost Control

Old media is dying.  Old media is dead.  Old media this, and old media that.  If there’s one thing for certain, the whole media world is changing.  The old media giants (newspapers, television, et. al.) are continually trying to play catch up with the new media blogs and websites.  Burdened by their offline world payrolls and overhead, they just can’t compete with the abundance of free sites that have little to no overhead.  Which has lead many to posit that they are dead or dying.

They aren’t.  They’ve just lost control.

Almost all of the gateways to legitimate news creation have been opened up.  No longer is a degree in journalism, or a great reference necessary to write and publish your side of a story, or a commentary on the latest news.  No longer do you need to depend on the subscription model to make your income, and you surely don’t need to have a network of paperboys and newsstands to depend on for distribution.  You simply have to turn the lights on your site and start reporting.

If you’re old media, those things were the cornerstones for their business model.  It was difficult, both monetarily and professionally to start a new competitor.  It took money to buy the presses or the cameras.  And it took some sort of professional background to be considered reputable.

They’ve lost control.  And they’re frantically trying to find a way to make the old model work in the new model world.  What they will soon need to realize is that the new model is only distantly related to the old model that they’ve been using.  The old model can’t be modified, twisted, and reused to adapt to the new model world.

We may see a few of the old giants fall before it all gets sorted out, but many will eventually figure it out.  Already, we’re seeing some of the old model companies purchasing the new model companies.  They’re trying to regain control and maintain their dominance on the field.  And it just might work.  After all, if you buy up all the biggest new model competitors, you’ll get a step in the right direction.  The only problem is that every time that one of the larger new model competitors gets gobbled up, there are hundreds more scrambling to fill any void left behind.