Traditional Media

Traditional media is the combination of radio, newspapers and television.

They have all seen a decrease in users recently because of the internet (and the lagging economy), but newspapers especially have seen decreases.  I’ll address them each separately.


Newspapers are some of the easiest news sources around.  What other news source is completely portable and doesn’t use electricity?  Other than a town crier, I don’t see any.

Newspapers have seen a decrease in readership because of the rise in internet connectivity.  People don’t see a reason to pay for news they can get on the internet.  I’m one of them, I readily admit, but I do see the value in having a newspaper.  There’s something about being able to hold the paper in your hands and mark something you want to read later.

But, newspapers haven’t “kept up with the times” so to speak.  Readership has decreased, prices have increased (I cite the Saginaw News as an example; prices have risen to $0.75 a daily issue from $0.35 when I was a kid, and the content has dropped) and content has decreased as well.  Many young people don’t see the need to subscribe to a newspaper when they can get the same (and more) news from the internet.  They can run an RSS reader and have their news delivered to them on the computer, without even going to the sites to get their news.

I think that newspapers have to start using the internet to supplement their print edition.  This does not include charging for RSS feeds or charging for access to a news site.  In my opinion, if the newspaper would have — here’s the key — ORIGINAL content and news, people would be willing to pay for it.

Much like my This is True email newsletter.  I pay for this email newsletter (about $24 a year) and content is delivered to my email-box once a week.  There’s a free version, but the paid version has more stories in it, has more commentary, and also has some other perks.  I enjoy it.

If newspaper sites did something like this, they would be able to make money as well as deliver news to people who are willing to read it.


Radio is convenient.  It’s available in most all markets, free, informative (usually) and entertaining.

Well, all of that is changing.  I don’t find commercial radio informative or entertaining (one out of three ain’t bad, right?).  The commercial radio is awful; filled with commercials, no news (if there is news it’s either non-news or partisan bullshit [left AND right]), and no new music.  I haven’t heard anything “new” on the radio since the mid-eighties.  The mid-eighties was about the time Clear Channel started buying up radio stations and formatting them to certain markets (country, oldies, pop, etc).

This has created a rather “boring” radio dial (at least where I’m located, in mid-Michigan).

I make the exception for Public Radio.  I listen to NPR/PRI almost exclusively, and find it informative, interesting, and fun.  NPR/PRI makes no bones about their syndicated shows and airs them at regular times (unlike some of the CC stations which masquarade as “live n local”).

For new music, I love World Cafe with David Dye, Jazz Set with Dee Dee Bridgewater, The Thistle and Shamrock, and Riverwalk Jazz.

I like the news in the morning with Morning Edition and Weekend Edition (a little leftist slant, but nothing to be worried about),

i like the humor of A Prarie Home Companion.


My television view will be a little skewed since I don’t pay for it, and only have braodcast TV (over the air digital).

CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and PBS are the major stations we get on our rabbit ears.  The other stations (My5, CW, Worldview, Create, PBS Kids) are all on the digital feed.

Most of the programming is decent.  I’m a fan of police dramas, medical mysteries, and the like.  These are the shows that seem to be in vogue for the time being, so I’m a happy camper.  :)

Still, many people (especially young people) are using the internet to watch their TV.  From youtube to hulu to netflix, there are many choices for television.  I’m not even counting cable or satelitte options.


There are reasons why traditional media can’t become part of the new media.  If newspapers, radio and televiosn would expand into the internet (many stations have already) they would expand to a larger and more diverse reading, listening, and viewing audience.

Just a little rant for the weekend.  This bit of thought has been rolling around in my brain for awhile.  I’m not sure if it’s all true, but it’s all my opinion.

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