How to Lose The Next Generation

While traditional media complains that the Internet is responsible for its waning fortunes of late, you have to wonder if anyone is seeing the real problem. The latest example of how traditional media is their own worst enemy happened again this past weekend. Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace raised the hackles of Former President Bill Clinton in what Democrats call attack journalism and Conservatives call fair and balance reporting. Some right wingers say Clinton lost his temper on purpose to rally Democrats who are madder than hell and aren't going to take it any more. Whichever conspiracy theory you subscribe to, it was the same old sorry television that has been losing viewers for years now. TV news has reduced itself to gotcha moments run -- and rerun -- ad nauseum on one hand and the softening of news on the other (i.e., Katie Couric's new age rendition of Walter Cronkite). And, do you know any young adult who watches local TV news? They've been dumbing it down while the next generation has been getting smarter. TV news has all the short attention-span bells and whistles (laser effects, slick graphics, shakey camera shots, incomplete stories), nonetheless Gen Y has learned how to get their own news. To see it -- on YouTube. To read it -- on news and blog sites of their own choosing. Delivered when they want it. Ended when they've had enough. Then to discuss it through social groups. Me thinks traditional media complainith too much. It's not the Internet that's killing them. They are misreading the market -- not knowing their audience. No matter what your age, it makes you appreciate the Internet alternatives to the "broadcasters" who sully the legacy of the likes of Edward R. Murrow.