A New Way to Get News: The Idea of Demassification

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A New Way to Get News
To be totally honest, as I traveled to Davis College on August 24 to watch Ken Rickard speak for the Society of Professional Journalists, I was not excited. I am a fan of the good, old fashioned newspaper, and I before this lecture, I had no interest in ever receiving my daily news from the Internet. About fifteen minutes in Mr. Rickard's speech I became intrigued by how his company, Morris Digital Works, had taken the failing newspaper "Bluffton Today" and turned it into a city-wide phenomenon, and my opinion of online news changed. I loved the fact that "Bluffton Today" is trying to salvage its small town appeal by giving only local news to maintain its community identity, but also is trying to protect its future by advancing technologically. Mr. Rickard explained that his company was not trying to replace the ink and paper part of the news, but instead trying to connect their audience to the outside world through their personal and social issues.

The lecture of Ken Rickard and his "Bluffton Today" is a direct example of demassification, which is described in Chapter 1 of our text. "Bluffton Today's" primary purpose is to give the people of Bluffton, South Carolina news that they care about. They want to hear about their local soccer team winning, their best friend's grandmother dying, and their high school receiving excellent test scores. This idea directly compares with the trend in today's mass media--demassification. Demassification (when media focuses on smaller, specific audiences, rather than the largest audiences possible) has resulted in the decline of traditional newspapers and magazines and has therefore resulted in alternate media, such as online newspapers. Because "Bluffton Today" is a free, online newspaper, all revenue is derived from advertising and the newspaper benefits because advertisers are desperately seeking new ways to advertise in alternative media.

I believe that the idea of demassification is...
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