2009 is the year of the journalist – Carnival of journalism

It’s Carnival of journalism time again and having sat out the last one (sorry Adam) I thought I better get my hand in again. This month’s ringmaster is Spot.us guru David Cohn and his topic - Positive new media predictions for the year 2009.

Now there’s a challenge given the current climate! But I think there is some stuff to be positive about.

As media brands loose value, individual journalists will become more valuable
As media brands loose value, individual journalists will become more valuable

This will be the year of the journalist
That might sound odd given the layoffs happening all through the media. But I think that we are at a transition point.  The large media ‘brands’ are loosing ground to a more diffuse audience but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a need for content. That means that journalists will be no less important.

Whilst the idea that demand for content outstrips the supply of those capable of creating may not ring true for most it’s clear that a journalist with some web savvy, a good presence online and an understanding of their audience is an increasingly valuable proposition.

As organisations downsize we will begin to see a new layer or ‘freelance’ journalist who are bought in to deliver specialist content. If you are in broadcast you’ll recognise this model as the kind of producer/contract working common in the industry.  The smart organisations will keep a kind of halo of these people around them, bringing the audience they cultivate in to their orbit. The individuals keep a level of autonomy but everyone benefits as the media brand and the individual brand work together.

Europe will step on Google
Paul Bradshaw has already highlighted some issues with Google and the opportunity for new media start-ups, trad media included, that may bring. But (and maybe this isn’t as positive as the first one) given the attitude of ‘because we can’t, you shouldn’t’ attitude of many media orgs, the press in particular, I think we’ll see some moves by the EU to begin to put boundaries on  Google a la Microsoft. Why the media orgs would see this as a sensible prospect rather than finding ways to work round or with Google beggars belief,  but it will happen.

The positive? Well, whilst Google, the EU and large media orgs slug it out, there will be plenty of space for the smaller operators and, as Paul points out, they’ll be ripe for the picking.

So, two predications as possitive as I can make them.  I have some broader and perhaps less positive things to say about video but I’ll save those for another post. For now, based on the first prediction, you shouldnt be listening to me blather on. If you are a journo you should be setting up your own blog and building an audience.