As I was reading the first of the always entertaining and informational Denver PR Blog public relations predictions it got me thinking about how much our profession has changed in the past few years and how the media will continue to evolve.
I’ve seen several different numbers regarding the amount of newspapers that closed in 2009, but it’s safe to say the number is well into the hundreds. Magazines had a similar experience, and while broadcast outlets haven’t closed at the same rate, layoffs and consolidation have been well documented.
In the same 365 days, social media, online news outlets, citizen journalists and the like have flourished. And while I consider myself somewhat of a social media junkie, I don’t think traditional journalism is on the brink of extinction. New York Magazine recently conducted an interesting experiment where it uncovered the actual “source” of news stories over the course of a single day. It is by no means scientific, but the results highlighted how often traditional journalists are primarily responsible for creating the news of the day – including the news on social mediums. That said most of us realize that its often easier and many times more entertaining to use social media to find the niche news we’re interested in (@snowdotcom, @aboutflyfishing and @fodorstravel, to name a few for me).
As the U.S. Senate attempts to define “journalist” through the U.S. Media Shield Bill this year, 2010 most likely won’t be the year we discover “what happens” to traditional media or what exactly the future of social media looks like. What I do think will happen is this: The amount of news outlets, formats and niche audiences that exist will continue to evolve and provide a lot of opportunities for effective communicators to share their stories with the masses. As someone who works to tell his clients’ stories to a variety of influential, interested audiences, but still enjoys a cup of coffee and a newspaper every morning, I’m optimistic about 2010.