Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This is the end....

***School Assignment Alert*****

"The End" of Television, Print, and Radio... may be closer than any of us would imagine.

According to Pop Culture expert Jian Ghomeshi in a three part CBC special titled, "The End" the internet could soon take over all of these mediums and more. Or, at the very least, the 2.0 (user interaction and content) generation will be changing things in a big way-  as it already has begun to do.

As this very blog (or any blog) proves, it is becoming more and more of a trend for amateurs to create content, but how does that affect the mainstream media?

The special breaks down the question into three separate categories: Radio, Television, and Print Media.



 One of the key questions that was mentioned in the segment on radio was: Who would turn down a box that played free music all of the time with no further effort than the click of a dial?

Amazingly-- the answer is moving ever closer to everybody. Something that is free and effortless is not enough anymore. Nowadays the public wants free, effortless, personalized, and commercial free.

There were a few different post radio options that were mentioned. The first was satellite radio and although it is quite niche-- it still costs money. The second is podcasting, which is free most of the time and niche most of the time, but it is also amateur most of the time. The third are websites like Pandora- who are currently trying to digitize, tag, and connect all music. The biggest flaw with these companies are twofold- People don't want to rent- they want to own and that you can never take the person out of radio.While this may be true today, as these technologies get more sophisticated- things may change...


When it comes to television, Ghomeshi focused on user-generated content, but I, and many people in the documentary agree that user-content can get tiresome. Nobody wants to watch America's Funniest Home Videos ALL OF THE TIME-- Only SOME of the time. This is why I do not think that professional television will perish, but I do think it will probably switch screens. The problem once again though is-- who will pay for professional television? As the younger viewers become immune to advertisements it becomes more and more difficult to charge advertisers through the nose.


With the rise of user generated content there are no longer gatekeepers forcing people to only discuss what they believe to be news. The blogosphere also calls the mainstream out on something in real time if they make a mistake. Many people disregard blogs and user gen. content because it is amateur, but  the conversational aspect is something the traditional media should embrace rather than neglect.

The problem with digitizing content is that it is corporations that have the money to do this task. Are we willing, as a culture, to sacrifice all information to a corporation?

Newspapers are also in quite a bit of trouble because as they move online they have no choice but to give their product away for free. On the other hand, the newspaper sees the online audience as a new, younger audience-- older scholars say that there should be a mix of the different medium so that older people use online content and younger people embrace print content. Advertisers are making the switch rather than lingering on old news as money spent on online advertising now exceeds the money spend on print advertising.

According to Margaret Atwood: the computer is not as convenient as the book, as the television, as the radio, but what happens when computers are small and indestructible? This is an idea I see coming to fruition in the not too distant future. Computers are nearly as ubiquitous as any other other piece of technology and they are only embedding themselves in everything more and more as time goes on. With the perfecting of such inventions as digital ink and paper, it will not be a surprise when everything that we can touch is a computer. The question is: will the content creators stay the same and if they do will they still have a realistic business strategy? If people are eventually going to be able to distance themselves from advertisements by tweaking open source software or downloading a program to their digital everything, then the odds of decent quality, professional content will no longer be profitable or even possible. By then who knows what the web will look like, or how humans will view the digital entertainment genre in general.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Philip,

    It's an interesting post. We spend a lot of our days digitising content in the publishing industry and there is a perception that this is the end of print. But, the reality is that print will continue to be used but perhaps is less volume than in the past. Some formats are better in print (like a glossy women's magazine) but others are more suited to a digital version (e.g. an educational magazine). Digital versions of books and magazines appear to be having the effect of reaching out to people who might not have read the book or magazine in its printed format. It's an interesting time!