"Two years of carnage ahead"
Ah, such an upbeat report from the Future of Journalism project in Australia.
As quoted in the Australian (because, apparently, the folks involved haven't figured how to put this on the Web yet -- at least as of this filing I see no link):
A report, Life in the Clickstream: The Future of Journalism, released today by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, warns that the Western media industry faces "two years of carnage", squeezed by the global economic meltdown and the unravelling of traditional economic models.Ah, sunny days.
The report reveals that more than 12,000 journalists worldwide have lost their jobs so far this year.
Commentators from around the world warn the multiplying effects of cost-cutting and reduced quality could result in the collapse of the US's biggest media companies, while in Britain it is predicted that between five and 11 newspapers will vanish.
Emily Bell, The Guardian's content director, warns Britain could be left without a single British-owned broadcaster outside of the BBC and the once vibrant regional media market faces near annihilation.
Actually, I think Rupert Murdoch, for all his perceived faults, had it right last week when he told a lecture series sponsored by the Australian Broadcast Corp.:
Murdoch, whose company's holdings also include MySpace and The Wall Street Journal, criticized what he described as a culture of "complacency and condescension" in some newsrooms.
"The complacency stems from having enjoyed a monopoly--and now finding they have to compete for an audience they once took for granted. The condescension that many show their readers is an even bigger problem. It takes no special genius to point out that if you are contemptuous of your customers, you are going to have a hard time getting them to buy your product. Newspapers are no exception."
And David Sullivan, commenting on the layoffs of 125 in Norfolk, has it right when he points out the Internet is competition, not just another territory to be conquered by the media. Or as someone recently put it (I forget where I read it), the challenge is to do online journalism, not just journalism online.