Check out this program on CPTV Friday at 10 p.m. (march 5):
In an age of declining readership, falling advertising revenue and the fast invasion of the Internet, newspapers as we have known them are changing. The perils of today’s print media have been felt in Connecticut, with two major dailies in crisis over the past year. ON DEADLINE: IS TIME RUNNING OUT FOR THE PRESS?, a new one-hour CPTV Original documentary, examines the current state of print media.
My reaction: It was well done, and (it should be noted) that includes the fact our company's chain was the one selling the Bristol Press. JRC's past faults aside, part of the exciting experimentation now is happening at the JRC's flagship, the New Haven Register (not consulted for this program apparently), where reporters take small video cameras to assignments and where we regularly include Web material in our site's value-added compilation of the day's newspaper. In other words, if I review a TV program, often you'll be able to go to the Web and click on a link to watch that program. If Jim Shelton does a feature on someone, you can click on a video of that person on the Web site.
The show was light on the Courant's slide and changes. I'm not sure the Hartford Courant's (still controversial) hookup with WTIC-TV has produced anything near what we would consider a converged, modern outlet for news and information, given the missed opportunities and weird blend of news cultures at Tribune. But they, too, are in transition to something different.
The CPTV show also touched on the various efforts to find a way to pay for real journalism in the future, whether it be micropayments through the Web (per story) or some sort of subscription. Sadly, much of the public doesn't know the difference between solid reporting and blog or radio-host opionions and spin. But our democracy depends on the outcome of this wrenchging change. Much good luck to Bristol and the online news outlets, such as the Independent.
Out of the ashes of the old tight-fisted JRC is a hungry media company, which is something the program did not get to. Maybe in a sequel.