Old Media is Losing its Influence, What Can You Do To Help

Old Media – ABC, CBS, NBC, Reuters, UPI, NY Times – is  losing its influence, and that makes me happy. Let us turn that observation into a CALL TO ACTION – become a Broadcaster. [Hint: you already are one]

Ed Pluck shared a post in the Consevative Union referencing this article in the Federalist about how the Right is fiinding its way around the Leftists in Old Media. In that article at the Federalist, Mark Tapscott provides a couple of recent examples of terrific investigative reporting by right-leaning journalists, displacing the (non)work done by the lefties in old media.

Mark’s premise is an important one for we conservatives to understand. Liberal media is conquered NOT by changing them in any way. It is done by diluting their influence, providing better alternatives, rendering them irrelevant. We are largely successful in doing so, and have been greatly aided by the internet.

This contemporary transformation parallels momentous changes in what was once America’s dominant news source, the liberal mainstream media. That dominance is diluted now, thanks to newsroom insularity and market entry and business model changes sparked mainly by the Internet.

The break with Old Media started in the rise of Talk Radio, continued with the explosion of blogging. The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987 lowered the barrier to entry for conservative talk radio – and we got Rush. Then the internet lowered the barrier to entry for publishing. We can compete, and are doing so, and the success of conservative websites speaks to the success of the free market.

We got great conservative opinion sites first, and now, we’re getting the conservative news sites. We’ve solved a problem not by changing the other guy, but by figuring a way around it.

Hurrah, and SO WHAT?

The internet and smartphones have lowered to barriers to entry for news gathering, reporting, and publishing. But what about broadcasting? Getting the news to the eyeballs of those who need the information? Gosh darn it, the networks are still just too strong – one episode of network nightly news is seen by millions, we just can’t compete.

WRONG.

In the old days, the “broadcasting” of news to millions of people so as to inform and shape opinions was done by CBS, NBC and ABC. The formula was one person to millions of people. And there were about 20 people broadcasting.

Now the job of broadcasting is done by your friends, acquaintances, and the people you follow on social media. It’s done by YOU. You are a broadcaster. Did you realize that? It’s just different math.

Instead of ONE (or a few) outlets choosing the stories and sharing with millions each, we have millions of outlets choosing the stories and sharing with tens, hundreds, or…I suppose thousands each.

But truly it’s not that – I may have thousands of followers, but a story I share is really only going to reach maybe a hundred or so. Because regardless the numbers on the social media, humans are human and our ACTUAL sphere of real INFLUENCE is only ever a couple hundred in any meaningful way. And really only a couple dozen on a regular basis. But that’s ok, that’s enough.

Once I recognize that I am a broadcaster, my actions change a bit.

I take a bit more care with what I share, because I’m doing so with a different purpose. It’s not just to make friends or shoot the bull around the water cooler. I’m asking others to give up some of their time to read and think about what I shared with them. They deserve a bit more consideration from me than just “Wow! Thoughts?” I can excerpt a paragraph or two, I can add a sentence or two of my own impressions.

Most folks won’t click the link and read the article. If all I share IS the link, that they won’t click, I have just spammed them. If all I did was add some silly comment or snarky hashtag that doesn’t add meaning, I’ve spammed them with a colorful envelope. Maybe it makes me feel good about myself because I’m sharing and “doing something” but I could do better.

Most folks don’t devote much of their day to news of the world. If they are following you on social media – you have an opportunity to BE part of that time, but you have to respect them and use your power responsibly. That means be aware of what you are.

You’re a broadcaster – realize it, take advantage of it. BE PART OF THE SOLUTION to the Liberal Dominance of Old Media and the minimal amount of time that people have to devote to news of the world.

Now….get out there and CHANGE THE WORLD!