Merrill Brown Stops by RGE for a Discussion on the Future of Digital Media
Inspired by our engaged chairman, RGE is always looking for opportunities to leverage new media and technology. In this spirit, veteran journalist, media executive and consultant Merrill Brown was invited to RGE’s New York headquarters in the West Village for a discussion on the future of digital media.
Brown opened with remarks about the fate of newspapers in an environment of free online content. Small newspapers tend to be secure, he argued—with loyal readership and a steady stream of advertising, they are still the monopoly franchise for local information. Large newspapers such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are in relatively good shape, as they are going through the necessary transformations to be competitive as technology and consumers’ needs evolve. But the papers in between are struggling. The main newspapers in cities such as Baltimore, St. Louis and Boston are losing their audience and the advertising dollars that go with it, finding it difficult to afford the resources, both human and capital, that are necessary to come up with new digital strategies to generate revenue streams.
In a world where bloggers, journalists, experts and amateurs are all using platforms that are essentially indistinguishable, Brown stressed that the need for media literacy is as important as ever. Unfortunately, the sophistication necessary to intelligently sift through information is woefully inadequate. The outcome is a situation where key issues such as local politics, education and health care are insufficiently covered—and thus insufficiently understood—in the media.
But with big change comes big opportunities. Brown is positive about web advertising on digital platforms and believes there is a lot more that can happen: The new digital media has created many opportunities for entrepreneurs to fill the voids and develop new landscapes with creative strategies.
Time will tell which ideas will survive and thrive and which will go the way the way of the dodo, but as always, those that can tap into the needs and wants of the ever-changing consumer will surely have the edge.
Comments are closed.