How is media evolving and adapting today to market forces and realities? What does the future hold? These are questions that many of us ask everyday. Today, PRSA Detroit met the media and posed those very questions at a morning program with some enlightening results. The event featured a roundtable discussion with Alan Stamm/Deadline Detroit, Marge Sorge/Detroit News Hub, Jon Zemke/Metro Mode-Model D and Dustin Blitchok/Metro Times. Yours truly had the good fortune to moderate in my role as 2016 Chapter president. No journalist shied away from any topic or question; on the contrary all were candid and open.
How is media evolving and adapting today? For one thing it is doing more with less. Less people, less money and less time. What none of these seasoned veterans will ever compromise is journalistic integrity and quality. Yet, that is continually challenged, as Marge Sorge noted, by buyouts and early retirements whereby up and comers miss out on the mentoring of those who have been there done that. After all, any skilled trade requires apprenticeships.
Moreover, less available time portends a need to receive materials from communications and PR professionals that are tailored, ready-made and more substantial (without overwhelming). For example, a press release sent to one of these online outlets on a charity event should also include a couple of interesting photos as well as an event logo – even a short video snippet if apropos.
As for the future, who knows exactly. The panel pointed to traditional print media outlets across the country that are already going entirely online save perhaps a Sunday print edition. Also expected are more foundation-supported and organizational (i.e. union) news sources with, of course, their respective individual biases.
We are all staying tuned, of course, for what may come next. Some can be anticipated while others cannot. One thing, though, is certain. In the world of media, the more things change, the even less they stay the same.