In my earlier post I raised the issue of the lack of opportunity for Hamiltonians to have in-depth discussions on issues through our traditional local media (I’m not talking news here). I also explained why I think those discussions are needed and how that gaps analysis prompted my team to launch the Chats from the Lair podcast.
Almost instantly I was criticized for letting traditional media off the hook, not discussing in depth why they do not offer they opportunity, and not offering ideas on how they can improve etc. (I was also criticized for shamelessly plugging the new podcast, but since lack of opportunities in traditional media prompted the advent of CFTL, discussing it is germane to the post - a plug sure but hardly shameless).
First the why. The answer is simple: market forces. It is hard enough for traditional media to survive the rising tide of social media, let alone make the kind of profits they once enjoyed. Making money is a driving force and that often means lighter, faster conversations which are more appealing to a broader market. Try hosting a call-in show like I have many times, and you will know that the lighter the topic the greater the call volume. Greater the call volume higher the ratings. Higher the ratings more you can charge for advertising.
So it is tough for traditional media to go too deep and give airtime or make space for discussions on issues when advertising revenue is a priority. Is this letting them off the hook? Maybe it is, but I am more a pragmatist than ideologue, so I get their format changes and challenges even if I don’t like them.
How can traditional media improve and provide us the kind of discussion opportunity I think we need and deserve in Hamilton? Per my last point, I actually don’t think they can.
We want quality news and the opportunities to discuss issues. You will watch as the social media world takes over the job of quality discourse.
The reaction to the promotion of this blog on twitter about the reasoning for a new podcast is proving my point. Blog. Twitter. Podcast. New media can and will meet the need for discussion that traditional media realistically no longer can… like it just did on this issue this afternoon.
(I think this topic deserves a deeper discussion with an interesting Hamiltonian - Joey, wanna come to the Lair for a podcast?)