Traditional & New Media – A Story Of Contrast & Change

by George Moen on October 22, 2012

Globe & Mail vs VanCity Buzz…who is winning?

The world of Media and Social Marketing continue to change and evolve.  I have been following, with interest, two events that in reality are very connected.

One is the announcement by the Globe and Mail that they are erecting a Pay Wall, a system that prevents online users from accessing web content without a paying a fee or subscription. The other event was a Flash Mob helped by a local, but very popular Blog, VanCity Buzz.

I’m watching the Globe and Mail like many other traditional media struggle with declining revenue. To justify the pay walls, they claim they must be able to pay and support the journalist talent and business model that has been an icon of Canadian journalism for as long as I can remember.

I see on the other hand this young, hip and popular blog that can help organize 1,000 plus people in just a few days and embrace current pop culture.

So what is really going on?

It really is an old story-the customer is changing. We are seeing a perfect example of the end game. The VanCity Buzz is nimble and as is the nature of a blog, has low overhead with unpaid “Citizen Journalists”.  You will hear from the traditionalist that paid journalists produce better, well-researched content and that may be true at times; but the customer ain’t buying it – just ask the finance department. Your report card is the bank balance.

I know I read and enjoy both.  Will I pay for the Globe under the new model? I have not made up my mind.  Do I enjoy the “Raw and Relevent” content of the VanCity Buzz – you bet.

If I look into my crystal ball I think they both have a way to go because what I predict is that journalism will eventually move to a “paid for results” model. The technology is there now to give the publication a piece of the action and it is going to be the advertiser that will determine the outcome…they have the cheque book.  I can see the look on the media moguls’ faces now. What do you mean-we get a piece of each sale…?  Well if you think you have a killer property, great content and loyal readership -what’s the problem?

The traditional model is trying to fit into the new medium and the new media guys are trying to take pieces from the legacy properties. The new model does not evolve around either. It comes back to two groups- the reader and the advertiser. Let’s not forget that at the end of the day it comes down to one very simple outcome. Will you actually help sell my stuff. Do that you win. Fail to do that and it’s résumé time.

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