September 5, 2006
How I Get My News: Old vs. New Media
One of the first websites I hit when I have a cup of coffee and a few minutes of free time in the morning is MSNBC.com. I read the headlines and occasionally a story or too that is either big news or catches my interest. Then I fire up my RSS reader and check in. I rarely learn something newsworthy happened via "new media." If a new media person is plugged in enough to get wire stories, they might beat the old media to the punch about a story, but generally they're good for reaction to news rather than the news itself. In fact, I might go so far as to suggest that new media has a way of diluting news. From all I've seen there still seems to be a pretty big gap in local news on the internet. Most smaller newspapers are filled with AP stories and columns rather than an actual new reporter out seeing what's going on in the community. In this area for sure, there is much more interest in what's going on in San Francisco or Sacramento or even LA than there is coverage of the local area. I think new media has a real opportunity to take the citizen journalist thing to a local level. I don't know when the time will come when new media will consistently beat old media to a newsworthy story, but I know it can tell me something about the construction project tying up Dougherty Rd. or why the local Ralph's closed down.