Mainstream Media is Dead (aka “My Print Days Are Over”)

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In the world of media (and me being someone who’s involved with the media world), today is a big day for me.

I officially (and personally) have come to the conclusion that traditional mainstream media is dead.

Of course, if it’s not dead, it’s dying because it’s something that lay-people like me simply can’t afford to buy any more.

TV died for me nearly 10 years ago.  I couldn’t handle paying nearly $100 per month on crap, so I canceled our cable subscription (and I recommend you terminate your cable subscription as well.  In fact, we should start ‘cut the cord’ parties around the country).  Since then, we get most of our entertainment via rentals, the web and other means.

I hung on to print for some reason.  I haven’t bought a copy of the Globe for years and I’ve never bought the Sun or other junk related to the Sun chain.

That said, every weekend, I used to buy the Saturday and Sunday editions of the Toronto Star.  This was a few years ago and it was part of my routine.   Then, the Star raised their Saturday price to $3.50 per copy and I stopped buying it, keeping my weekend reading to Sunday only.

This morning, I walked the dog over to my regular Sunday Star box and imagine my surprise when the price of the paper had increase 67% to $2.50 per copy from $1.50.  In absolute terms, it’s not much, but I didn’t have enough change, so I turned around empty handed and started this blog post.  Once I’m done, I’ll cruise through Progressive Bloggers and a few other sites to satiate my Sunday routine.

By there’s a bigger thing happening here, isn’t there.  Mainstream media is dead to me.

It’s now no longer possible for them to spoon-feed their BS agenda via their mouth-piece and I’m feeling all the better for it.  In fact, as I think things through, I remind myself that no trees had to die today on my account so that I could skim through the entertainment or op-ed pages.

And I’m 42.  What’s happening with the kids who are half my age?  Sure, some are getting MuchMusic via their parent’s cable subscription, but my bet is that they’re starting to disappear even more rapidly from the pulse of mainstream into the wild world of web-based media.

The people who are twice my age or even one generation older are scared.  They own all of this junk and they’re no longer getting the regular residual income that they used to.  Sun taking a dive into specialty TV clearly shows that the management knows nothing about the future of media in this country or elsewhere.  They’ll waste millions trying to shout at an empty audience and we’ll all be the better for it because it’ll bring the Sun down sooner than we ever could have hoped.

Unfortunately, as they fail, they’ll run to the government with their palms wide open begging for billions and not mere millions.  The waste will be phenomenal and we will have to obstruct it and oppose it at any juncture.

For progressives to have a stake in any of this future, we have to capitalize on the volumes of traffic that they’re getting with their sites.  We have to start thinking about how we’re at the top of a massive opportunity to start guiding the conversation – and the body politic – in a direction that makes sense for all people and even the planet.

Rants need to be researched, diatribes will have to become discourse, but we have a chance to make this happen.

Some outlets are already on their way:

Huffington Post

The Tyee

Rabble

Media Coop (The Dominion)

Progressive Bloggers

The Real News Network

What other sites or aggregators do you know of that I can post on this blog or in future articles about the future of progressive media?

4 comments on “Mainstream Media is Dead (aka “My Print Days Are Over”)

  1. Cancelled my Shaw’s Cablevision (TV) service several years ago and haven’t purchased the print version of a newspaper or magazine in more years than that. For any traditional media news, I will check out links that interest me, as provided through social media sources. I’ve also turned my back on any news organizations that charge for access to their websites.

  2. Even MuchMusic is playing LessMusic. Instead, it is showing crappy reality programs. Why? While viewers had their television sets turned to MuchMusic and its songs, they weren’t actually watching the commercials. The change to reality based programming meant that viewers would more likely watch the commercials. Another point about MuchMusic is that people don’t buy music based on watching videos. The internet has taken over that route.

    On the retail scene, the only people who go into HMV to buy music are middle-aged and older people. Young people may browse, but not buy CD’s.

    I do think that the television, print, and the internet will merge together. For SunMedia (or whatever it’s called now), starting a news station will help that organization diversify, then merge into a new intermedia outfit. Print alone will not save the Sun.

    “Intermedia” should be a new word.

  3. Good point – I love the idea of ‘intermedia’. Of course, I would use it to describe the media ‘creep’ that is occurring with the Internet, where mainstream organizations try to hook us away from free conversations and social activities. Example: Facebook. Now that it’s controlled (not in percent, but certainly in terms of guidance) by MSNBC, people should be warned about the extent to which their own personal information will be manipulated by ‘them’ in the future.

  4. Bravo! Thanks for the feedback. It would be nice to mobilize what we used to be paying into our own infrastructure that we actually controlled. It used to be the government, but that’s been co-opted by Bell, Rogers, Sun etc.

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