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Today’s Media Landscape

Given that media is such an integral part of our own marketing and consulting business on a day-to-day basis, perhaps it is time to share a somewhat personal perspective, based on behaviour and beliefs of a baby boomer.

Growing-up in an post-war era on a different continent, and in a country with what now seems like minimal media choices, which included just radio, black & white TV with two channels (I know I’m seriously ageing myself here) and a daily newspaper, it was important for a new generation growing up, to go out and experience life.

The local library branch was a constant choice of great entertainment, since reading provided a gateway into other cultures, new experiences, foreign countries and tantalising adventures.

Fast forward to today and through the proliferation of media choices in a cluttered and ever changing landscape, I doubt that today’s children (and their parents) have as much fun in discovering what the future holds as my generation did.  Not only has reading become secondary to watching and listening, but searching and using Google, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and other communication tools, like texting, app’ing, and some of us even using e-mail, most people  these days live on their mobile devices.

I know that even myself would have a hard time giving up my I-Pad since it provides instant access to 5 different domestic and foreign newspapers, plus an on-line curator of news feeds that I have set-up based on my own diverse preferences.

Add You-Tube, Google, Instagram and I can be in touch with anything and everything in the world if my internet will allow me (for which I need good working hydro, which is another intangible all together, given the dependency on our wooden pole structure in Canada).

One of the findings is however that the primary media tools I grew up with, seems to have lost their mojo. Its relevance has been diminished since the internet became a thing. Yet, there is a sense of entitlement with journalists, and their content publishers, which seems to profess that we need to keep them employed, no matter the quality of their reporting, the lack of design and quality in their broadcasts and publications, or their curation of local and global news feeds.

Perhaps the people who work in media need to demand that quality cannot be compromised, that proper research is the foundation of good story telling and that we’re not in the least interested in learning their their biased opinions, which seem to be at times only politically driven.  What I for one would be interested in is learning about good news, interesting facts about positive change and beautiful design for instance.

If media would try this in the market place it may very well respond with proper financial compensation for these efforts. Not everyone and everything can be working with government assistance. Just ask the small medium size business owners in Canada. Perhaps you need to tell more stories about these individuals that put it all on the line each and every day. Something that about 7.5 million Canadians could relate to on a first hand basis.

It may make for some real inspiring news, which would allow communities to feel good about themselves and positive about the future. That may be the answer to these media outlets looking for government subsidies to sustain themselves.

Because, as I mentioned from the outset, I find it slim pickings these days.

How about you?

– Martin van Zon