This Week In Old Media Vs. New Media . . .

Posted by: Jon Fine on June 26, 2009

This week, in the ever-tired, ultra-binary “battle” between old-media bona fides and new-media triumphalism:

—TMZ.com broke the news about Michael Jackson’s death.

—Columbia S.C.’s daily newspaper The State did an old-school stakeout at Atlanta’s Hartsfield airport to break the news about Gov. Mark Sanford’s trip to Buenos Aires. (They also had the emails.)

UPDATE: And the Huffington Post’s Nico Pitney asked the President a question at a press conference, a development that, for some reason, some folks found newsworthy.

Verdict: Either “everybody wins!” or “there’s something for everyone in these results” or “who cares?” You decide.

But can we please agree to stop using each major breaking news story as an excuse to flog your favored hobby horse, whether it’s “new media can’t do what traditional media can” or “old media is sluggish and nonresponsive”?

There’s no reason we have to choose between old and new, ‘kay?

Reader Comments

Peter Kafka

June 26, 2009 11:21 AM

So TMZ, a gossip Web site wholly owned by Time Warner is "new media" how? Because it's a Web site? Then who isn't "new media" at this point? NYT broke its Spitzer story online, etc. WSJ did same with Jobs liver transplant, etc. Everybody does, right?
And the gossip part isn't new: See Donna Rice, etc.

Jon Fine

June 26, 2009 11:27 AM

Peter:
TMZ is new media because it’s an online news organization that grew up entirely without an old-media framework: no newspaper, radio or TV was initially attached. (The syndicated show came later, and is not the main focus.)
I don't think Engadget is old media just because they’re owned by AOL. Do you?
Jon

Media David

June 26, 2009 2:32 PM

maybe you could explore why CNN ( a Time Warner owned company) refused to use the information posted by its fellow corporate citizen, preferring all day to quote The LA Times web site.
Was CNN saying that it didn't trust its' own partner. Meanwhile, MSNBC quoted TMZ liberally. just wierd.

Don

June 26, 2009 4:03 PM

Like a lot of people I don't visit TMZ on the matter of principle, due to their criminal harassment of celebrities. Perhaps CNN staffers feel the same way?

Ken Wheaton

June 26, 2009 4:25 PM

That's JUST what I'd expect a member of the old media to say ... on his blog.

Peter Kafka

June 26, 2009 5:13 PM

Touche. But TMZ still feels very much old media to me, where as Engadget and its ilk are a radical break in form from their predecessors. Still, tomato tomatoe.

Reggie Gleesen

June 28, 2009 9:13 AM

"Charging for Content ..." in BW ignores the fact that sites with unique valuable (to readers) content are already successful selling it - eg Investors Bus Daily and Financial Times. Too many newspapers though are just distribution outlets for AP and Reuters content. It's their distribution function that's been superseded by the Internet. Those with real (unique, valuable) content will be winners.

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