The old media/new media chasm

Seth Godin isn’t primarily a media guy, but he sure is a perceptive one, and the way media work is just one of his many great strengths.

Join us for a few words about the relationship between old and new media and you’ll see why our signature writing competition, PEOPLE’S PILOT 2019 welcomes media old, new, and, you know, in between.

by Seth Godin

In every era, traditional media channels will diminish, dismiss and ignore the new ones. They do this at the very same time that they are supplanted by the new ones.

While they will occasionally spend some time or money testing a new medium, they rarely leap.

This is the posture of the business people/publishers, but it also has an impact on their editorial approach.

Radio shows rarely became TV shows. TV networks didn’t embrace cable as they could have. The book industry generally ignores every innovation in tech.

As late as 1994, Bryant Gumbel was spending time on network TV being befuddled by the ‘internet’. And in 1999, Conde Nast bought the print half of Wired but intentionally left the web version behind.

Twenty years ago, newspapers were in a perfect position to establish blog networks—they had their reader’s attention and advertiser’s trust. But they blinked.

New media tends to be adopted by amateurs first. And it rarely has a mass audience in the early days (because it’s new)….

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