Let's face it. Traditional media will either adapt or die. Newspapers are feeling it more than any form of old school media so when I saw this story about our client TalkPlus and their just announced iPhone deployment I had to riff about it here.
Here's my take on this. The Tribune knows they are being eaten alive by the blogosphere and alternative media. News happens too fast and there are way too many niches. Alternative newspapers have been cutting into the mainstream media's ad revenue for years by providing more and deeper lifestyle coverage for the last decade or more. Business weeklies are covering local business with greater depth and with more specialized focus. Both genres of news coverage are weekly, not daily, and for the most part they have been late to really go full bore into the web-a mistake in my view. Enter the big media company, with the niche focus via the blogs. For their ad sales teams this is a potential goldmine if they can learn web math.
The concept is very much a media mashup and one that is seriously worthy of consideration? Why? The media has to morph and by going blog, with a mix of reporters and topics that are timely, they will get eyeballs. What's more the ability to serve up ads that are reader specific means the "paper" isn't just regional, its global. Just as IP has no geographic boundaries, neither does media. The fact that the authors/reporters can combine local with globally relevant story angles, tips, advise and more makes this a very interesting approach and could be a step in the right direction for the future of traditional print journalism. I've seen a similar approach in Austin, TX with the Statesmen and also in Pittsburgh, but not to this level.
In a word...Impressive.