Media As Watchdog

Media As Watchdog

These days, people spend less and less time listening to or reading from media experts - so perhaps now it's time those experts went out and talked to their previous audiences in the new places they can be found.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 4 december 2009

I was being interviewed by a journalist the other day about trends in health and wellness, and they started to ask me about the future of media in the space. The trouble with (and good thing about) speaking to journalists is that as an interviewee hoping to get a sound-bite published, you don’t stop talking and that sometimes the path of words leads you to new insights that hadn’t been uncovered yet. Anyway, in this world where everyone is contributing to this media I found myself talking about the future of traditional newspapers and how the media would continue their role as watchdogs but just conduct themselves differently.

This is easier to consider in health related media where its output can actually help or harm us. In the health and wellness space there will be a continued democratization of knowledge. People are going to share ideas, news, tips and survival stories with each other much like they have done forever. It was often the media’s view (or a doctor’s) to check opinion and encourage it to go in a socially positive direction.

These days, people spend less and less time listening to or reading from these experts in the media – so perhaps now it’s time those experts went out and talked to their previous audiences in the new places they can be found. Maybe the future of newspapers (and journalism) is less about the medium and more about the message. Maybe that’s by adding to conversations in the spaces people now live in (social networks and forums).

But how would they get paid without the advertising space to sell? Maybe the forum owners would pay for journalists to spend time in their forums so that they could sell advertising – and that would mean that the future of newspapers and magazines would be social networks where the journalists encourage conversation, not broadcast a point of view. A little like a newspaper where the letters section makes up the majority of the paper and the journalists are reacting to what is being discussed and suggesting new points of view, ideas and events.

Anyway, thoughts?

image by netzkobold


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