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Will social networking sites kill Newspapers and Traditional Media

BY: Jessica | Category: Entertainment | Post Date: 2009-06-17

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Majority of events that take place these days seem to make it to sites like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Flickr and CNN's iReport before it appears in traditional media sources. For example the recent election fiasco in Iran has left journalists in dark because country has banned any media coverage of the protests. But local people seem to still to click video's and post on Youtube and SMS events on Twitter in real time. Similarly, protests in China were only covered by regular people since other media outfits were banned. People are equipped with cellphones which have both SMS, voice recording and video capture ability. Infact newspapers and traditional media have themself started to rely quite a bit on coverage provided by these social networking sites, and giving full credit to these resources. Does it mean that social networking will kill traditional media like newspapers and web news sites. I would think .. NO!

Although many traditional media giants will suffer and close down but it will eventually be the battle of survival of the fittest. Smaller players will close down due to loss in revenue (like advertising revenue). This will give even more space to bigger players like CNN, AP and Reuters to expand. People will continue to rely on reporters and journalists because we believe that stories covered by standard journalists is fairly true, unbiased and reliable. On the other hand, some of the news and events mentioned in social networking sites are often fake or someone's imagination.

Additionally, general public cannot cover events where only designated journalists are allowed to do coverage. For example , during curfew or other life threatening events like fire and flood. Traditional media also has greater resources to cover a story, like they have helicopters and sophisticated cameras.

Traditional media like newspapers are also experts in organizing news events in a well formatted and more readable fashion. Traditional agencies also employ a large group of people who might otherwise be unemployed. If you notice, all big media sites now have a blog section, where people like you and me can post articles, which helps them to harness the power of common people.

As mentioned earlier, many traditional media agencies are bound to suffer as more and more advertising revenue now goes online and people are less willing to pay for the news as they have done in past. Marketers and advertisers seem to get more for their buck using online advertising.

Radio channels like AM, FM which were only the monopoly for big media agencies is also facing stiff competition. There are many online websites where people like us can start own online radio channels. Soon enough, when our traditional radio gets replaced by internet compatible radio with ability to listen these online streams even while driving, current radio stations may also face their demise.

Thanks Youtube, Thanks Twitter ...

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