From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?
Dear FTC, Twenty years ago, I was a proud owner of a Sony Walkman cassette player. Now, both the cassettes and the Walkman are obsolete and the iPod or iTunes are being used. The electronic era has changed the way we listen to music and the way we obtain our news. Did Sony or walkman owners cry about the money we lost when we invested in our cassettes and Walkman? No. We got with the times and either purchased all of our favorite music on cassettes or purchased an iPod. Am I disappointed to have a Walkman which no longer works and can no longer be fixed by the manufacturer? Yes, of course. But, I do not expect the federal government or my fellow Americans to reimburse me or to cover any debt I still have with purchasing my Walkman. Nor do I expect the government to add fines and fees and taxes to prevent MP3 players and iPods to thrive or to cover the salary of the inventors of the Walkman. My Walkman experience relates to the discussion regarding the current media situation. Yes, the internet has affected journalism. Whether the non-internet media likes it or not, it needs to get with the times. Televised media and newspapers are the Walkman of the olden days, internet journalism is the iPod. If the outdated forms of journalism cannot survive, then so be it. Those who invested in the old ways took a risk, and if their form of journalism fails, then they should bear the financial burden. The government should not bail them out, nor should the government fine, tax, or charge the internet for its services. We, the taxpayers, should not have to bear the burden of a failed investment. Perhaps, the old media could learn from the internet and realize that the advantage the internet has over television and newspaper is that the consumers get to choose what they read or watch; the consumers get to choose when they get their information; and the consumers can immediately verify if the information is true or biased. I, for one, no longer watch the news on television, because it is biased. Also, the non-internet journalism is no longer real news which gives me the facts from an unbiased approach. It has become an opinionated source attempted to shove a liberal viewpoint down my throat. Nowadays, the news sources seem to be a mere extension of the tabloids--relentlessly reporting on gossip such as Michael Jackson's death or Tiger Woods infidelity. Perhaps the reason the non-internet media is failing is because the consumers are no longer choosing to listen to the gossip nor to the misrepresentation of truth nor to the bias. Perhaps it is time for the outdated media to realize that the way it functions no longer works for the consumers. Either you figure out what the consumers want and adapt to it or you become obsolete -- like my Walkman.