As citizen journalism continues to grow I have been asking myself a question,”Doesn’t it make any business sense to incorporate citizen reporting in traditional media?” Ethan Zuckerman writes that in 90% of revenues of newspapers polled in a recent study came from their print versions.
Newspapers depend on advertising revenue to exist. So are advertisers going to agree to put their products next to blogger stories which maybe in fact critical to their products? Not all citizen reportage is adversarial and critical, in deed most of usually is just some reporting a story that he/she feels has been neglected by mainstream media.
One thing which I think is the problem is that corporates are not willing to abandon traditional advertising techniques for new media ones. Are ad agencies prepared to be buying media from bloggers rather than TV & Radio stations, newspapers and magazines?
It seems that there is still that divide where newspapers themselves do not believe that digital media will survive. It seems to them that this is a passing fad rather than the revolution that it is.
My thoughts on the matter are that newspapers will continue to exist side by side with, digital media i.e. bloggers and the rest. This is existence that should not be viewed as adversarial, it is a competition, but complementing each other. If the reporters of traditional media can create relationships where they can source their news from bloggers in addition to their current sources then we have a model that will in turn bring money finance to the news room and reverse the trend of staff cuts currently occurring in almost all media houses.
I mean we should see digital media as a partner to conventional media, the synergies that will accrue from this will enable media as an institution to thrive. When we have a situation where people want a particular scope of news and they are willing to sample what people like them like then we should take heed. After all, the customer is king!!