Old media vs new media

Old media: It’s available when it’s convenient for us. The 7pm news. Sport at 7:20. Weather at 7:25. Morning newspaper at 6:30am.

New media: I want it now. Click. It’s there.

Old media: Huge audiences, available with low, well established, reliable technology: paper, radio, TV.

New media: Minority but growing. Mainstream outlets driven by the old media, but a lot more niche outlets as well. Largely reliant on emerging technologies that some people haven’t caught up with yet: Internet, SMS.

As my use of new media has increased, I realise how impatient I have become at times. The other night watching the weather forecast, I wanted the weatherman to get to what matters most to me: the Melbourne forecast. Why was it taking so long? I realised that it takes about a second (maybe two) on my computer to find the bookmark and click to the equivalent web page.

It makes me ponder the worth my newspaper subscription. I like being able to sprawl on the floor with my breakfast and get a summary of the day’s news. But so much of it was in the breaking news the day before. On weekdays at least, I’m really only reading to see if my favourite topic has been covered, which isn’t so much consuming the news as monitoring it.

If The Age offered a paid subscription to all their paper content online (maybe half of it makes it onto the public web site at the moment) for, say, a quarter of the price of the paper version (all printing and distribution costs gone), I’d be sorely tempted, especially if it were easily updatable, browsable and searchable on a PDA to read on the train.

Mind you I’d still pay for the weekend papers to be delivered. Lazing in bed reading it beats anything you can do online.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

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