Frank Rich at the NewYork Times has written a caustic yet timely piece on why the Press, many popular newspapers and magazines, find themselves on code-blue death watch. And these are not small fry – Boston Globe, LATimes, Newsweek, Chicago Tribune, Infoworld just to name a scattering few. And Frank is frank – he cites the fact that the major press has failed its fifth estate – dictum – “all the news fit to print” by failing to cover(or uncover major trends like No Weapons of WMD, how serious Climate Change is, the rise of 3 mighty economies (BIC-Brazil-India-China) through globalization and the effect that will have on the developed countries. And of course the biggest stumble of them all -dream walking through the Great Financial Fiasco brought to you by the American Masters of the Financial Universe(c) and (t) – Wall Street.
But the real story here is that media have failed to adapt to the need to a)change their method of delivery and b)in the new delivery medium find a way beyond advertising to charge for their info-finding and refining skills. Electronics dissemination of information will predominate – but having paper in hand will, like sheet music, have a sustaining clientele. Now don’t charge the latter for the lack of figuring out a way to charge the former. That is the media’s current great sin beyond Rich’s complaint that the media are too often ignoring the big, “invisibly-cloaked-by-special-interests” elephants in the room.