Tom Foremski, at Silicon Valley Watcher, cuts to the heart of the issues facing mainstream media in a post where he says informative journalism, “is being torn apart–not by blogging–but by search engine marketing. Quite simply, it is more effective to sell products and services next to a search box than next to journalism. That’s not good.”
He crystallises some unformed ideas which have been floating around in my head, producing one of those “now I understand” moments. In a post on the rate of change, he writes:
The disruption means there are many opportunities to create new types of very profitable media businesses while the old guard figures things out in committees.
The dark side of all of this, however, is not very appealing… To put it simply, what happens if the old media dies before the new media learns to walk?
By which I mean what happens to us if we lose that “fourth estate” that fourth “component” of our society?
He is optimistic that there will be a solution but writes:
But I’m asking who will pay for high quality media?
We are in trouble if we don’t find that solution. We need high quality, trustworthy media, so that we can make the right decisions as a society.
While he believes that there will be a solution, there will be “troubling and challenging times” on the way.