Track the Death of Newspapers — On Twitter, of Course

Everyone knows you can check Poynter’s Romenesko blog for the latest scuttlebutt on All Things Journalism, but if you want your latest “print is dead” update in 140 characters or less, you have to check out http://twitter.com/themediaisdying, a chronicle of media hirings and firings unfolding in real time on Twitter.

From yesterday’s News York Times:

“These sorts of layoffs are unheard-of,” said the stream’s founder, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to preserve his sources in the industry. “It’s gotten insane to keep up with who was moving around and changing beats.”

Initially, The Media Is Dying was accessible only to select Twitter members, as the feed was intended to help those in the P.R. industry stay on top of the revolving entries in their address books. But requests to be included flooded the founder, who decided to go public three weeks ago. Since then, the stream, maintained at twitter.com/themediaisdying by its founder and seven volunteers from the industry, has garnered more than 3,000 subscribers.

The stream tries to confirm the tips it receives; if something cannot be verified, it is posted and labeled as rumor.

According to the Times, the feed has broken news already, with reports of layoffs at Adweek and Brandweek posted before they appeared on traditional media sites.

Naturally, the site has its eye trained on Big Media, mainly on the East Coast. Fortunately, no one has found cause to set up ‘The Media Is Dying in Arkansas.’ Yet.

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2 Responses

  1. The media is not dying. It is evolving.

    Fewer people will be media staffers, they will become media contractors. The freelance journalist re-emerges with a vengenance.

    The freelancer will sell to the big newspaper, do a talking head bit for TV or radio and re-publish on their own blog or sell to a blog. The same will go to photographers and videographers who will resell their work via the web.

    The truly entrepenurial will have a blog covering their niche (local neighborhood, local government, a particular industry, whatever) that will keep them from utterly starving to death and then they will sell content to the big boys.

    Big media shed of the costs of health care, retirement plans, and static payrolls will become lean, mean, fighting er publishing machines.

  2. […] Posted on December 15, 2008 by lanceturner Another day, another think piece on the death (or, as ArkStFan optimistic posits, evolution) of newspapers. This time, it’s James Suroweicki of the New Yorker who’s […]

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