Mike Mulvhill summarizes it well in a Buzz Bin post - "Traditional media relations no loger exists as we once knew it. In its place is a mash-up of traditional media outlets, news aggregators and social media that morph, feed off of — and upon — one another in a semi-cannibalistic, yet symbiotic manner." This after reviewing the Pew Research Center Project for Excellence in Journalism "State of the News Media 2011" (on the U.S. news media in 2110).
For PR people (as everyone else) it's becoming a new media landscape, one that's going to take some exploring and learning to adjust to. The emerging journalistic practitioners might not be as diligent the beat reporters of old, or they might be in different ways. But, says Pew, an interesting batch of numbers shows that the new digital news outlets, like Yahoo, AOL, Bloomberg and News Corp.'s The Daily, came close to matching in their 2010 hiring "the jobs we estimate were lost in newspapers, the first time we have seen this kind of substitution."
Traditional newsrooms are well worth touring anew, for they are indeed changing. "They are smaller," Pew reports, "their aspirations have narrowed and their journalists are stretched thinner. But their leaders also say they are more adaptive, younger and more engaged in multimedia presentation, aggregation, blogging and user content. In some ways, new media and old, slowly and sometimes grudgingly, are coming to resemble each other.
"The result is a news ecology full of experimentation and excitement, but also one that is uneven, has uncertain financial underpinning and some clear holes in coverage..."
Back to Mike Mulvihill: "All this means that effective public relations programs require more effort to reach a broader range of journalists than ever before. Successfully seeding a story can come from many different sources, and more and more often the best way to create momentum starts with social media..."
The new journalistic world is likely to be more on mobile screens than on paper. Whether it will be a brave or feckless one remains fully to be seen, but, clearly, there's a growing variety of news practitioners. Call them reporters, curators, editors, writers, assemblers or whatever you find to be the case, but get out there and meet them. Find out what's prompting them in your areas of involvement and concern.
Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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