Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What's the future of the 24 hour news cycle?

Image credit: LOC
Today Crikey revealed more hard numbers on the state of the Australian newspaper business, revealing  News Corp advertising fell $320 million in 2012-13.

The daily news cycle agenda is largely set by the morning newspapers. Hard as that may be to believe, it's still kinda the general rule. Newspapers report, radio talks about the newspaper reporting and TV comes in later in the day to re-cap what happened with these stories during the day.

Take the morning newspapers out of the mix and what happens? Where will the radio stations get their news to complain about? How will TV stations know which stories to package up and which ones to leave?

I'm not for one minute suggesting that newspaper reporting is going to disappear just because some legacy operations are losing money. In fact, the quantity of written news and reporting is probably larger than it has ever been. What has changed is that the masses of reporting cannot be neatly bundled under a single Masthead - it has fragmented to niche publishers or niche sections within larger publishers.

Readers are picking the news they read online more selectively, subscribing to only the sections/authors/topics that interest them.

The question is then: how does radio and TV choose what to focus on if the papers can no longer set the agenda? Indeed, it is telling that there is a dearth of news variety on radio and TV compared to the print/online news that has been forced to adapt its offering.

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