Traditional media has been around for a very long time. For a great while, there has been a need for it to embrace the social aspect of media in order to engage readers (also known as the audience).
Although the face of traditional media has changed a great deal in the last several years because of the social media revolution, it is absolutely necessary for it to get involved with people in other ways in order to remain successful. If that doesn’t happen, traditional media will not exist as we have know it up to this point. The differences between social media and traditional media are vast and although both should exist side by side for the most effective outcome. The more the readers are engaged (and in as many different ways as possible), the stronger and more successful the outcome.
The waning popularity of newspapers
There are many possible explanations as to why newspapers have declined in popularity to such an extent. One of the reasons may be websites such as Craigslist and other online classified sites. The reason for this is that the online classified services offer revenue-producing services that newspapers used to offer to their readers. Another possible reason is that online news websites, such as Google News, have monopolized the market when it comes to news content. A possible third reason is advertising that is now transmitted through the Internet instead of in print.
Slow recognition of reality
Traditional media were not quick to recognize the impact that social media was going to have and how it was going to affect people who worked with traditional media. Aside with the rapid dissemination of huge quantities of information, the vast majority of available online information doesn’t cost anything to obtain. That has an extremely strong appeal to a large number of people. The competition has just become too stiff. The reality is that it should no longer be an issue of one sort of media over the other. They need to find a way to work together for the most positive results. One of the results of the denial of the impact that social media has had is that it was assumed that because newspapers (and other forms of traditional media) would be here forever because they have been around for such a long time. It was taken for granted that traditional media was indispensible. As everyone knows, nobody (and nothing) is indispensible.
If the people who work with traditional media are to fix what is broken in their industries, there are several actions that must be taken:
- Transparency: If newspapers and other types of traditional media have any hope of being on the upswing again, they must be transparent to the public. They should inform the public of how they earn their money, how they spend their money, and the justification for what they spend their money on. Additionally, the transparency should include who the editors are, what their background is, and what is important to them.
- Get involved in the community: At the heart of social media is relationships. Traditional media is no different. With that in mind, relationships must be built and trust and credibility must be earned. The interactions should include discussions on what the people want to discuss and learn about and how their problems can be solved.
- Be a part of the solution, not the problem: Content that is delivered through traditional media serves the same purpose as content that is delivered through social media. It is about solving the readers’ problems. No reader is concerned with how wonderful the traditional media specialists are. All they are concerned with is getting their problems solved.
Social media and traditional media can both succeed if, and only if, they work together. One is much less powerful without the other. However, together, they are truly a force to be reckoned with. There are so many different ways to combine the various types of media. People from both schools of thought need to be as open-minded and flexible as possible to survive. There is great value in the collaborative effort. There is certainly room for creativity when it comes to combining them and giving the public the best possible delivery of content, content that is informative, educational, helpful, and compelling.
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Carolyn Cohn is the Chief Editor of CompuKol Communications LLC. Mrs. Cohn has a wealth of experience in business writing as well as having a strong editorial background. She manages all of the company’s writers, journalists and editors as well as writing, editing and publishing several business articles a week on a consistent basis, which are syndicated globally.
Mrs. Cohn has run several editorial departments for other companies. She has over 25 years of editorial experience and her expertise covers a wide range of media, such as online editing, and editing books, journal articles, abstracts, and promotional and educational materials.
Throughout her career, Mrs. Cohn has established and maintained strong relationships with professionals from a wide variety of companies. The principle that governs her work is that all words need to be edited.
Mrs. Cohn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo.
Mrs. Cohn is a member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA).