Monday, March 11, 2013

Being the Media

WNYC's On the Media went in depth about the "problem" of the White House becoming it's own media outlet.  From YouTube to official blogs, the Obama administration has taken the old practice of party partisan media to a new height.

I say the old practice because let's not act like the President going direct to the people is something new.  Back in the 1800s, the "media" was dominated by newspapers that were quite literally owned by and organs of the political parties.

So we rediscover the ability of the object being covered to be a content generator -- ye olde Branded Journalism.

This has been happening in college sports for years, dating back almost to the start of the second generation of websites with rich content.  It starts with the "minor" sports that news organizations begin to sacrifice coverage upon when the advertising starts to shrink.  Thus begins the spiral downward as the niche audiences -- the long tail of the media -- discover they can get as good, if not better, coverage directly from the teams.

This taught athletic departments how to create content machines -- RazorVision, RebelVision, etc. -- and then with the experience of streaming content to arena scoreboards and remote fan desktops, it isn't much of a scale up to become the source for all the teams.

Late last summer, Arkansas debuted its new NIKE uniforms with its own video fashion show.  It caused quite a stir.  This spring the Razorbacks are closing football practice.

And if they are smart, they are doing their own taping of practice to provide video for specials, later productions and approved distribution to the media.  I would.

That's not fair, scream the traditional media.  Perhaps, but how exactly is it different from the pool reporter coverage of the White House?  Or buying packaged "reports" from DC B-roll houses for the local evening news?  Or running whole pitched pieces from PR agencies.

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