Death of Old Media Predicted


As a media junkie, I am concerned about the future of print media. And while I do think traditional media’s future may be a death by a thousand cuts, I do think that predicting its near-term death may be like premature reporting in 1897 that Mark Twain had died — to which he famously responded, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”

The latest example is Marc Andreessen at the Allen & Co. Sun Valley Conference. According to the New York Times, “Sun Valley: The Old-Media Death-Watch Continues” by Andrew Ross Sorkin. According to Sorkin, Andreessen said, “If you have old media, you should sell.”

People said the same thing about radio, but it’s still around.

I do think traditional media has a dim future unless it finds a way — a format, approach, business model, delivery mechanism, something — to evolve. But I don’t think print will totally disappear.

When I did a search, I found predictions of the death of old media going back a decade. Hasn’t happened yet. What has happened is that the impact and influence of print may have diminished — certainly advertisers seem to think so — but that’s not the same thing.

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