Friday, January 16, 2009

Is it wrong to say that I am fearful?

In case you've been living under a fucking rock for the past year or so, all forms of media are tanking. There's no kind way that I could say this because it's reality. It's happening more and more frequently and I could list all of the victims of the recent media layoff but with KARE 11 tv laying people off and forcing all employees to take one week of unpaid time off, WCCO tv laying off employees, KSTP tv doing the same and the Star-Tribune filing for bankruptcy. Then there's Minneapolis/St. Paul magazine firing Brian Lambert and another Twin Cities veteran writer.

The sad thing is that this list is short. There have been far more cuts than these which have taken place in the past few weeks. It leaves the media landscape not a leaner operation but one that seems nearly gutted. Can a bare-bones staff fearful for their jobs at every turn be effective in producing and investigating news? Can their support staff, fearful of the same outcome, be effective in their jobs? Will this be the final downturn that leaves us with a media landscape that is a pure laughingstock? What will become of the media companies who cut too far? Is there even a place in the world of tomorrow for the evolving "traditional" media outlets?

Where does that leave these talented writers, producers, cameramen, reporters, personalities and the numerous behind-the-scenes employees of these media outlets? While the evolve-or-die mantra has certainly become true, has it happened too fast?

I hate to think what the media I rely on today will look like at the end of the year. Even more frightening is what the landscape will look like by Spring of 2010 (when I expect everything to begin recovering - slowly). Will I, as a media employee (no, I won't say where or specifically what I do), still have the same job duties or even a job by then? I am at least hopeful in that aspect because I like to think that I understand the buzzworthy trends that are rocking the media world. I've picked up the basic skills over the years that I need to make things work and thankfully I can grasp the new skills needed when they are unleashed.

So there it is in a nutshell. The media landscape - and the world - will not come out of this deep and painful, but necessary, recession (greed and stupidity fucked us all) anywhere near the same as they are now. This will either lead to the richest experience for entertainment and media we have ever witnessed or things will be bleak, bland and totally lacking the personality and skill that is growing and evolving and learning currently.

I am rooting for the former scenario. While you can currently listen to hundreds of hours of music from your iPod which goes everywhere and fits in your pocket, it's lacking the personality and warmth that we still crave and that was lost yesterday and is being lost nearly every day. Hopefully the suits running the world realize that entertainment of any form needs personality. It's what sets the traditional, but evolving, media apart from the "new" media.

Sadly, though, everything hinges on advertising and until those dollars come back into play, things will flat out suck but they will come back but in a wildly different format. A format that I can't wait to see or even be a part of creating.

1 comment:

No said...

I am fearful too...great post...need to catch up on your blog...can't believe I haven't been here since November...since the blessed event! A very belated congratulations! How is the little bundle of joy?