Truth-o-meter shows traditional media can be creative, relevant

posted by Brendan Hodgson

In the eyes of many, Google’s latest deal with the wire services simply hammered another nail into the traditional media’s coffin. And, for sure, this does nothing to halt the long, slow descent into night of the mainstream media’s 20th-century business models… and yet I can’t help but think (and hope) that these guys are gonna figure it out. Like it or not, we need professional journalism…and we need to find a way to ensure somebody, somewhere can pay good journalists to do the job they do. But that’s not my point (or not entirely).

Why will traditional media survive? Well, for a lot of reasons. But I think part of it is that they will ultimately get “it” (and, in many cases, already are). They will see that they can do things that others cannot, and do them well, and do them creatively… in a way that will attract the eyeballs needed to ensure they keep doing it. Newspapers, for example will see that they cannot try to keep up with “breaking news”. But rather, what they can do is provide a good dose of the in-depth analysis that is still required to make sense of this mad-cap world.

Case in point: Politifact.com, a project of the St. Petersburg Times and Congressional Quarterly.

Although a variation on a common theme, what I like is the blend of entertaining visuals (gotta love the pants on fire) with powerful, relevant content that has less to do with being first and more to do with delving beneath the spin and uncovering (what I believe is) important information that most Americans (and others) would not know, nor have time to uncover for themselves. This is, in my view, a glimpse into the future of 21st-century journalism.

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