Traditional Media is Not Dead, it’s Undead!

I keep hearing the phrase “Traditional Media is Dead”, and according to this article: Newspaper circulation slides nationwide, by Alejandro Martínez-Cabrera featured on the SF Chronicle’s web site:

Traditional Media is Undead
Brains, Brains…

Newspaper circulation has fallen steadily in recent years due in part to access to free online content and reductions in the distribution areas of many publications.

Paper trail
The top U.S. newspapers by average weekday and Sunday circulation from October 2009 through March. The percentage changes are from the same six-month span last year.”

  1. Wall Street Journal: 2,092,523 weekday (up 0.5 percent); no Sunday edition.
  2. USA Today: 1,826,622 weekday (down 13.6 percent); no Sunday edition.
  3. New York Times: 951,063 weekday (down 8.5 percent); 1,376,230 Sunday (down 5.2 percent).
  4. Los Angeles Times: 616,606 weekday (down 14.7 percent); 941,914 Sunday (down 7.6 percent).
  5. Washington Post: 578,482 weekday (down 13.1 percent); 797,679 Sunday (down 8.2 percent).

The Chronicle is No. 24, with a weekday circulation of 241,330 (down 22.7 percent); and a Sunday circulation of 286,121 (down 19.3 percent).
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations

Read the full article here…

However according to Samuel Parent in his article Is Traditional Media Dead? posted on the Social Media Today web site:

Traditional media are not dead – not yet, and not for a while at least. They’re not all as strong as they’ve once been, but they still occupy an important place in the media landscape.

Parent goes on to provide many statistics which can be found within the full article here…

I find it a bit amusing that that my two sources are a newspaper web site (which makes mention of declining readership) and a Social Media blog (which states the importance of traditional media).

I also find it amusing that many of those who will make the statement that “traditional media is dead” are also the first to tweet or blog and brag about being featured in a magazine piece, newspaper article or television show/segment.  I am a big fan of all things new and techy, and love social media, but I don’t think we should be dancing on the grave of traditional media just yet (so to speak).

I tend to think of Social Media as Undead. Being a big movie buff and a fan of zombie films I can’t help but compare traditional media to the zombie hordes that will surely be on my back porch when the zombie apocalypse arrives (my backyard is next to a cemetery). While traditional media appears to be dead, it is actually still quite animated and if you move too slow it will eat your brains.