What a week to be on furlough from the TV business!  There’s enough happening to fill pages, but I’m going to discuss one issue at a time – it’s easier for me to make sure I don’t forget anything!

I’m still digesting the Pew Project’s latest State of the Media report.  I think it should be required reading for anyone doing citizen or professional journalism.  You may not agree with all the findings, but it’s still worth your time.

Here are a few of the keys I found in my first glance at the report:

  1. Our revenue model is broken and is not coming back.  For decades, TV stations were one of the few gatekeepers of information in a community.  Now, we seem like one of the anchor stores in a giant news mall, hoping customers still value what we have to offer.  The report offers some interesting suggestions, including this one:

Adopt the cable model, in which a fee to news producers is built into monthly Internet access fees consumers already pay. News industry executives have not seriously tested this enough to know if it could work, but these fees provide half the revenue in cable…

I’m not in a position to go to the providers and push this, but I hope someone does.

2.   Citizen journalists are everywhere (we’re working on a great project here in Grand   Rapids), but legacy media are pushing innovation just as hard and, in many cases, harder than many citizen journalism sites.  I think a lot of that has to do with scale and revenue.  But I wish the study’s authors would have spent more time talking about the opportunities for legacy and citizen journalists to work together to create more content for their communities and more ways to access this information.

3.    Our future is going to be helped by technology.  If you have not heard much about the Open Mobile Video Coalition, click here.   If you cannot afford – or choose not to buy one of these:

A Must-Have Device?

A Must-Have Device?

find someone who does and see for yourself how reading and watching information is so different from cell phones – or earlier generation PDA’s.  You could replace a newspaper with one of these, if you didn’t miss holding the actual paper (which I do sometimes!)

I’m going to keep reading the report.  I’m sure there are conclusions you have come up that I did not mention.  Please add your thoughts below.

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