A Reasonable View of Tomorrow

here comes tomorrowHere is the next in the ongoing series of essays “Local Media in a Postmodern World,” A Reasonable View of Tomorrow.

Media companies continue to reduce expenses in the wake of falling revenues, forcing newsroom restructuring on a fairly regular basis. Where this will end is anybody’s guess, and while some of it must be blamed on the economy, we all know that disruptive technologies and changing consumer behaviors are the biggest factors. I’ve felt for years that a likely future scenario is the rise of independent journalists who sell their output to local and other media outlets, and this essay expands that thinking. It features an interview with Gabe Rivera, creator of Techmeme, a remarkable aggregator of the tech media space. Techmeme is a perfect example of how the niche content of independent journalists could be brought together in one place to form an immediate understanding of what’s important, although the scale isn’t there yet to accomplish it at the local level.

There also doesn’t exist a definitive revenue model for such a scenario. Money. however, doesn’t always flow where we want it to flow, and its flow isn’t very predictable in a time of change. Of more importance, to me, is where is journalism headed, because money has a way of following eyeballs. The tools exist for anybody to be a publisher today, and this is the underlying reality that we cannot escape.

The first volume of this essay series is now available in book form (Reinventing Local Media), and you can find it at Amazon.com.

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