Communications and Society blog: By and for students in Marist COM 201

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So you “want to work in media?”

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Then if you read one thing today, make it this: David Carr’s NY Times commentary on the end of media (and media work) as we knew it, and the slow but steady and exciting rise of something new.  He describes it as exchanging the “velvet rope” mentality for something more dynamic, innovative, niche/specialist and meritocratic.  You want to go into TV, advertising, journalism, publishing?  You ought to read and think about this piece.  What does it have to say about the future you’re dreaming of and working for now?

A few of the key quotes:

“Historically, young women and men who sought to thrive in publishing made their way to Manhattan. Once there, they were told, they would work in marginal jobs for indifferent bosses doing mundane tasks and then one day, if they did all of that without whimper or complaint, they would magically be granted access to a gilded community, the large heaving engine of books, magazines and newspapers….As even casual readers of media news know, those assumptions now sound precious, preposterous even. Calvinistic ideals are no match for macromedia economics that have vaporized significant components of the business model that drives traditional publishing.”

“That feeling of age, of a coming sunset, is tough to avoid in all corners of traditional publishing. Earlier in November, the New York comptroller said that employment in communications in New York had lost 60,000 jobs since 2000, a year when the media industry here seemed at the height of its powers.”

“The skills that once commanded $4 for every shiny word are far less valuable at a time when the supply of both editorial and advertising content more or less doubles every year.  Where do all the burgeoning pixels come from? Everywhere, and cheap at that. An outfit called Demand Media now tests headlines for reader salience and cranks out thousands of articles and videos daily that it pays about $20 apiece for.”

“Those of us who covered media were told for years that the sky was falling, and nothing happened. And then it did. Great big chunks of the sky gave way and magazines tumbled — Gourmet!? — that seemed as if they were as solid as the skyline itself. But to those of us who were here back in September of 2001, we learned that even the edifice of Manhattan itself is subject to perforation and endless loss.  So what do we get instead? The future, which is not a bad deal if you ignore all the collateral gore. Young men and women are still coming here to remake the world, they just won’t be stopping by the human resources department of Condé Nast to begin their ascent.”

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Written by michaelhkoch

November 30, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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