Alexandra Donlin

Is the Media Becoming More Personal?


Source: Fresh Print Magazine

In the 2015 State of the News Media by the Pew Research Center, it was no surprise that digital newspapers and magazines are becoming more popular. However it does seem that the media is becoming more personal and local. With blogs and podcasting becoming more and more popular anyone is able to contribute and do their own kind of reporting.

Podcasting has no doubt been the fastest growing medium compared to anything else. This became apparent in the fall of 2014 when the podcast Serial reached 5 million streams or downloads on iTunes– faster than any other podcast in iTunes history. But aside from this, podcasting has actually been steadily rising in popularity the past two years due to technological advances. It is easier to listen them in the car and you have the ability to instantly download them to your phone. Car listening is actually one of the top reasons people listen to podcasts so much more now. It’s all about accessibility these days.

But podcasting isn’t a new thing, in fact, the word itself is more than ten years old. Podcasts also made their debut when the original iPod came out in 2001. They were popular then but kind of withered out in 2009. According to an article in NY Mag, a reason for the resurgence could just be because they are better than they have ever been. Podcasts even have a budget, staff and full expertise behind them. They also cost less to produce than your average TV show, which is great for economics. Will podcasts be more popular than television in the future?

Taking a step aside from online and portable media, television news, specifically local news, has been doing tremendously well– in viewership and ad revenue. This is kind of shocking because I think network or cable news would be doing the best. But it’s actually kind of the opposite. While network news did see positive growth in 2014, cable news audiences continue to shrink while their ad revenue remains growing. The main reason ad revenue for local news stations has been doing so well is because of increased political advertising spending.

Aside from revenue and readership being up, citizens feel the local news is extremely important. In an article by Poynter, the question, ‘why does local news matter?’ was asked to readers. Collectively people agreed that the information is more important to them. Since it’s in their city or area the information is more relevant to them, and it is more helpful. It can also establish better community ties. Local news is really more personal to people. While global news is always important too, local news can connect more to their audience.

So is the media really becoming more personal? I would say yes. Everyone and anyone has the opportunity to contribute to it, if they want to. There is the ability to connect to those around you and to get your voice out there. Being a blogger I love seeing feedback on my posts and connecting with others who blog about similar things. We are transitioning into a world where common people are becoming millionaires just because they had an idea and shared it online.

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