Backlash against Facebook and other New Media

Well, it had to happen. CTV takes a good whack at Facebook, essentially calling it boring and a time-waster. This is after Doonesbury spent a week taking the mickey out of Twitter, through its all too callow reporter Roland Hedley (who lost major money on theĀ  “new” technology of the Internet in 1999 with his online presence Anyway, I wonder whether this is just the ongoing theological argument between MSM and NM, or in fact the reality that too much of the New Media is untested and unproven, and heavily fad-driven. Yes, Ipods and Blackberries have made significant cultural differences, but often on the bones of other new technologies that just didn’t find a market.

CTV, March 15 2009


Funding the CBC

Nice thoughtful feature from the Toronto Star today on funding the CBC, looking at options from other countries which have publicly funded broadcasters (Canada has the second worst level of public funding for the public broadcaster, after New Zealand.) Still, it puts the cart before the horse: shouldn’t we have a discussion about the roles of the 26 channels of broadcasting the CBC does, then figure out how much financial support it needs to fulfill its role? Among other things: what is the role of the CBC main English network, particularly since it now shows American drek like Wheel of Fortune? Why has CBC 2 radio alienated its traditional audience? Is it time to kill off Radio 3 (as is being rumored) which has failed to use new technology to bring a new youth audience to CBC? Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater though. Radio 1 provides a decent service, and the north and rural Canada in particular rely on CBC for information and a window to the larger world.

Toronto Star, March 15 2009

Globe summarizes crisis of newspapers

Lenfthy two page feature in yesterday’s Globe that summarizes the ills facing North American newspapers, but unfortunately not providing any solution, or even suggestion, for newspapers to get out of this mess. Focusing on the upcoming demise of the San Francisco chronicle (which today announced major cutbacks to its collective agreement and staff to try to cling to existence), it does provide a neat summary of the dilemma today’s newspapers are in, focusing on their inability to understand the web. They still don’t get it. Most newspapers put their web stuff up once a day, adhering to traditional newspaper deadlines, while the broadcast guys are updating their sites through the day, adhering to their traditional schedule of frequent updates. There are some lame attempts to have reporters and columnists do blogs, but reflexively they save their best stuff for the “real” media and most of their blogs wouldn’t get past their editors’ desk. Some discussion of options for new business models (foundations, e-papers) but they are still unproven.

Globe and Mail, March 14 2009