Between crisis, panic… and opportunity

Between crisis, panic… and opportunity

: The Guardian stitches together a bunch of quotes about American media in crisis:

“It’s somewhere between crisis and a panic,” says Todd Gitlin, professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University, New York. “The generation that lived through Woodward and Bernstein and Vietnam has almost gone. They had an idea that they could make a difference and that they were a force. It might have been pompous but it was there.” …

“There is a perception that the media has failed,” says Michael Wolff, a media commentator and Vanity Fair columnist. “There is a general understanding that something has gone radically wrong here.” It is a feeling coming from both outside the industry and from within. Gitlin was recently invited to a meeting at the Times to discuss how to combat the erosion of confidence and stagnant sales. “There was a real sense of urgency,” he says. “They were asking some fundamental questions. It was not a casual exercise.”

I think we’re moving onto the next phase, having gone through the stages of denial, resistance, and panic.

Whether at those darned conferences or in conversations with people I know, I now see big media looking — some eagerly, some desperately — for ways to embrace the new ways. It’s more than a blogs-are-hot fad moment. I’m starting to see a realization that this is about a new relationship with the public, new ways to gather news and information, new ways to involve diverse viewpoints, and — at long last — new business models.