The middle is shrinking (mainstream vs. blogs)

As Salim leaves Pubsub, this post is for him and I will quote him extensively:) He explains his leave that much better here and I really love the turtle analogy for start-up companies.

And then I found the (Yet) Another kerfuffle between blogs and mainstream media post and I wanted to quote it all:

Mainstream Media and Blogs
Graph from Mary Meeker’s October 2004 report (authored by the ultra-bright Benjamin Dorr at Morgan Stanley Research)

The graph shows that a news event goes through three phases:
– discovery (breaking news)
– reporting by mainstream media (including ratification, fact-checking, etc)
– post-event commentary

Blogs started in that last category. However, as more journalists self-publish and more discovery is taking place via blogs (think Flickr), the middle is shrinking, causing some to say that mainstream media is dead. I prefer Scott Karp’s rebuttal, which presents a different view.

My own take on it is that yes, mainstream media will get squeezed on both sides, but the curve will stretch vertically higher. More and more discovery will take place via blogs and all that discovery will require editorial fact-checking and ratification, thus you still need mainstream media. A second role for media is trusted commentary about what’s happening rather than just reporting (think early Dan Rather).

Of course, related to all this is the fact that reporting/journalism isn’t objective anymore, having been bought by monster media. That has skewed everything and ought to be dealt with in another missive.


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