I love Jon Stewart and the Daily Show. There, I admit it. I even "made" my teenage son watch it for political education. Oh, I don't necessarily agree with his politics, but I love how he consistently takes the press to task for giving up their authority and responsibility. He did it again yesterday at the Dem Convention in a meeting with print reporters.
One of the reasons the press has lost advertising revenue is because people no longer believe they are relevant. In many ways that's true because they gave up that relevance to television and the blogosphere. They go, hat in hand, to potential advertisers and discount their value with unprofitable rates with the hope the advertiser will buy a banner ad on the home page and they cut the newsroom staff so they can afford the rate cuts. And the information vacuum left is getting filled with blogs.
Check the history. The decline of print media began long before the concept of blogging became popular, long before social media evolved to what it is today. Social media didn't replace print media, it filled the void that print media left.
Stewart too the print journalists to task by allowing us to be informed by the false urgency of CNN; to make polls on useless questions to a handful of people into important news, rather than do a little digging.
And for that reason I need to give Paul Miller and his team at TechInsights props for finally getting mad and doing what is right. They are no longer begging for scraps from advertisers but finding new forms of revenue; they are changing the way they cover the electronics industry in print by moving to analysis that is so rare; and they are demonstrating the power of print once again.
There is room for every communication medium today. Blogging and social media is great and often beats the crap our of CNN. But the value of print is the reflective approach. As I demonstrated several months ago with Drew Lanza, just getting a news release rewrite on the latest widget from Mushmouth Technology isn't enough to help engineers, investors or the rest of us know how it applies to the world. you need journalists with a real desire to dig.