The Plight and Fate of News Media Outlets in the Digital Age

The Plight and Fate of News Media Outlets in the Digital Age

As Google, YouTube and Facebook disrupted the conventional methods of running business ads, it’s no surprise news media entities have been adversely affected. While some news organizations managed to successfully transition to online platforms, the news media’s share of advertising revenues has declined significantly over the years.

Although there are news audience who are willing to pay subscription fees, majority prefer to get news where it is freely accessible. Nowadays, what most netizens are interested in are digital platforms that offer reciprocity, so they can also improve their own financial condition.

In the US, there is no proposal for policies that would protect the interest of news media outlets. As opposed to jurisdictions like Australia, where Google and Facebook have to comply with competition rules. In European Union countries, there are copyright reforms and plans of allocating some new taxes to provide digital platforms for journalism.

News media is an important element of a society, yet during this digital age, majority of the members of the public do not spend much time at news media sites. After all, people will repeatedly read or hear about trending topics in almost all social media sites.

That is why proposals and recommendations for reforms similar to those introduced by Australia and the EU, will not gather enough public support.

Why the American Public Shows Little Concern for the Plight of News Media Outlets

While a large portion of advertising revenues go to Google, the latter shares most of it to users who contribute content to its digital platforms. Google has further disrupted other large businesses through the smart shopping program that changed the way how consumers shop.

Smart shopping does not rely on random advertisements that appear during TV programs. To shop smartly means to seek for product brands that offer promotions, rebates or discounts on consumer goods that can partly finance what they ordinarily buy, or on products they intend to buy.

Smart shoppers receive notifications for store sales, promotional discounts or other events that would spell cash rewards, or large discounts. Rather than worry about inflation, smart consumers compare price tags, get tips on where to buy generic medications, or get recommendations for best value from other smart shoppers.

Apparently, financing news media outlets that rely on product advertisements as means of funding their operations and generating potential income, is the least of the buying public’s focus of attention.

As it is, digital platforms Google and Facebook deliver societal benefits, which denotes government intervention would be unpopular. It would prevent advertising revenues to spread to a large number of members who create content that attracts the targeted consumers of a specific product or service.

While it is believed that public opinion can sway the government to intervene in behalf of news media outlets, 53% of respondents in a related survey are not aware of the problems faced by commercial news media. About 31% are aware and are concerned, while the rest do not care at all.