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The Fall and Rise of Media

by Elena on December 1, 2009

New Media Tag CloudMedia and print journalism traditionally are difficult industries to enter.  Most prospective employees have numerous unpaid internships under their belt.  They work countless hours each day, often for very little compensation.  The stereotype of the lowly intern getting coffee for the reporters in the newsroom has been true for some time.  He pushes through piles of paperwork before getting a single word he’s written printed anywhere.  Times are a changing however, and the media world is changing as well, bringing new obstacles that bright eyed college graduates can anticipate.

David Carr of The New York Times recently wrote an inspiring article about the changes affecting the media landscape.  Any writer and editor knows the tribulations that print media is encountering.  More and more magazines fold each month, revenues are down, spending is down, and each magazine seem slimmer than the previous year.  Postings on ed2010.com have gone from lots of promising jobs at glossy mags, to the current array of dubious positions at new online magazines.  The reason: glossy mags aren’t hiring anymore, and when you do come across the open positions, the competition is fierce.

While these changes may seem difficult at first, they are just the progression of a malleable medium.  Media has always changed and grown.  What Carr recognizes is that people are finding other ways to find success in this industry.

For every kid that I bump into who is wandering the media industry looking for an entrance that closed some time ago, I come across another who is a bundle of ideas, energy and technological mastery. The next wave is not just knocking on doors, but seeking to knock them down.

Somewhere down in the Flatiron, out in Brooklyn, over in Queens or up in Harlem, cabals of bright young things are watching all the disruption with more than an academic interest. Their tiny netbooks and iPhones, which serve as portals to the cloud, contain more informational firepower than entire newsrooms possessed just two decades ago. And they are ginning content from their audiences in the form of social media or finding ways of making ambient information more useful. They are jaded in the way youth requires, but have the confidence that is a gift of their age as well.

It is no longer a privilege of the few in the industry.  People with something to say can do so rather easily.  The question is how do they get people to listen?

Photo via: uhlandfriends

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