Old Media vs New Media

A local blogger known simply as “Rachel”, author of thatnight.net , is up for a “Bloggie”. For those of you not following the latest cyberspace happenings a “bloggie” is the blogosphere’s verion of an academy award. She’s up against competition from across the country — and here story is told by our own Ashley DiParlo here on our website.

I have met Rachel and interviewed her as part of a story that I did last fall on local bloggers. What suprised me when both my story – and Ashley’s piece – went on-line and on-air was the reaction from blog readers. Here’s just a sample from thatnight.net:

I’m glad Pittsburgh is trying to be hip to new media. It should. Why this is a great city to live in”.

I think WTAE is the only local station to actually take a chance on reporting blogging.”

“I’m glad they did a nice interview and weren’t like “what’s this weird thing you do online?””

I’m not doing this to toot WTAE’s horn as the only local station covering the on-line universe. Quite the contrary. The point I hope to make here is something I discussed with a friend of mine the other day who also works in TV. The total disconnect between the old media and new media.

Old media ( TV, radio, newspaper ) and new media ( internet, blogging ) are different ends of the same spectrum, but listening to people on both sides you would think there would no way we were even located in the same universe much less the same business. There are many in old media who see new media as taking a cut of their action and trying to force them out. New media sees the old as “the establishment” and are distrustful of the messages they send. It’s true, old media does use a filter but that’s only because we broadcast to a larger audience. Of course, new media is so narrowly-focused, they can say just about anything they want to do and don’t have to worry about repercussions .. for the most part.

I guess I was just stunned how a TV report which attempted to give a fair and unbiased view of new media was received as both a shock by those in the blogopshere. Of course, there are those who are going to be suspicious of why a TV station would promote their direct competition. The answer is that – at least in my mind – we are not competition. We are just looking at similar areas of concern from different vantage points. I believe the new media is the best way to take the temperature of a town or community. That’s why I read them with regularity and – I don’t mind saying – get some of my best story ideas from them.

After all new media members, I am now one of you.

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