Canadian media is in a death spiral, and Canadian journalists are a whiny lot.
It’s executives are devoid of any imagination let alone be on top of the latest trends that are changing journalism much like the whirling dervish that blows through town; poof he is gone, followed by another one.
Talk to most Canadian journalists and it becomes a descent into the good old days.
The days when real journalists reported on real stories, instead of all that digital stuff so prevalent these days.
And the same can be said of those inhabiting the executive suite. Endless layers of bureaucracy are ingrained in their surroundings. New ideas are not encouraged. Instead, let’s do it the way we’ve always done it.
Here is but one small example. So telling of what it says about journalism:
Years ago when I was still a subscriber to the Globe and Mail I noticed that in their roundup of world temperatures there were none from Asia. But they had plenty from Europe, a few from cities that were not exactly in the forefront of a tourism boom, let alone major business venturers.
So I contacted the public editor of the Globe and Mail and pointed it out to her. She was nice and said she pushed my observations up the higher echelons of the of the paper’s editorial department. For two weeks I waited to see if there had been any changes. Of course, there weren’t. So I approached her again and again she responded saying she had done her bit. After six months there were no changes.
I gave up.
A small issue but the old saying, little things often mean a lot stuck in my mind and still do today.
Now no wonder the Globe and Mail is struggling, judging by all their staff cutbacks and dropping coverage in various areas.
If they can’t get the small things right, how can they get the big things right?
Now let’s contrast that with what is happening in the United States and the U.K.
In the U.S. major newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post are flourishing. And the same is true of smaller papers.
Staying on top of the latest technology and digital developments and above all, developing and implementing new and fresh story approaches.
The same holds true of what is happening in the United Kingdom. The Guardian is doing exactly what is happening in the U.S. market. Other media companies working with fresh and innovative ideas are the Economist and The Financial Times.
And Canada’s news broadcasters are not much better. Tired old formulas no longer work. For example, newsletters are the hottest ways to convert subscribers into customers as major newspapers are discovering. But Canada’s broadcasters are not using that technique. Podcasts are another strategy, used extensively by broadcasters and newspapers in the U.S., but in Canada, nothing.
So to put it plainly -Canadian media is in a death spiral, the subject of their own demise through their own outdated policies and strategies.