If you don't believe in your medium, you will not thrive

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Change is the only constant in the media industry and, boy, did we see change last year. Here is a 'lucky 13' for a healthy, wealthy and lively future, whatever your medium.

1    Stop using the words ‘new media’ in reference to digital media only. Every new issue of your magazine, every new TV or radio programme, every new app of every medium is new media. We were, are and will continue to be in the business of constantly creating new media.  

Content is more than just food for the eye and nourishment for the brain. Content is an experience to be shared, lived and practiced. The better the content, the better the experience.

3    One size does not fit all, and one medium does not satisfy all. To some, print is king, and to others, digital is queen. However, the majority of the young and restless want it all, not either/or.
Life does not come in one dimension and neither should media. The beauty of media is that it comes in different sizes and shapes, unlike the forced ‘one size fits all’ of the digital screen.
 If paper is such an old technology, then why are we trying to replicate it digitally? Every time I read about some new invention in plastic or e-paper, the comparisons are always to that good old technology called paper.
 Forget about being unique. It does not exist any more. Today, you must be different and better. Well, come to think about it, some may call that unique.
Journalism and marketing are wedded like never before, and so should ink on paper and pixels on a screen. However, as with any partnership, each should maintain and keep its individual identity – it’s a partnership, not a merger.
 Before you decide on a platform, remember the journalistic adage ‘know the audience’. It’s not the technology that creates the customer experience, but rather the customers who create the experience with the content and the technology.
 As much as some journalists hate to admit it or adhere to it, they should give the customers what they want and they will find what they need.
Stop preaching your own demise in some platforms. If you do not believe and do not promote all your media, then you have no one to blame for your demise but yourself.
If you are going to see the future, you must survive the present, and not only survive, but also thrive. The majority of the revenues today are still coming from print.
Do not sacrifice print on the altar of digital. Killing the golden goose will not provide you with lots of golden eggs.
 Do not sacrifice the traditional models of doing business. Although times have changed, your being in the business of customers who count and nothing else is an eternal constant.

Dr Samir Husni, AKA ‘Mr Magazine’ is the founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism and New Media. Visit www.mrmagazine.com for more information

You can read PrintWeek's Briefing on the recent ABC figures here


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