OLD Media Moves

A PR exec's opinions about changes in business journalism

April 14, 2006

Richard Edelman of the Edelman Public Relations firm spent the past week meeting with reporters and editors from The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and Forbes magazine. He came away with some distinct conclusions about how mainstream business journalism is changing, and how PR people need to adapt.

Richard EdelmanEdelman writes, “* MSM on-line is now acting as aggregators, such as Andrew Ross Sorkin’s Deal Book under the NY Times.com banner, which takes content on M&A from multiple media sources, or Forbes.com which has 125 media partners including CNET, AFX and Variety.com. This is a way to retain readers in the fold beyond the eight minutes average spent on average, for example, on nytimes.com.

“* MSM on-line is now trying to crowd the vertical trade media. Forbes.com has organized sub-sites in logistics, infrastructure, and digital entertainment. The idea is to move beyond the traditional agenda setting of MSM, a horizontal approach to educating opinion leaders across a broad spectrum of industries and interests, toward a more vertical approach that may appeal to the specialized interests and shorter attention spans of the on-line reader.

“* MSM on-line is more hard news oriented than feature oriented. Reporters are getting better about filing high quality work immediately on-line–there is less iteration of the story content than two years ago. Video is being appended to stories on the on-line MSM. An example would be an MPEG file showing a new ad campaign running alongside the story.”

Read the rest here.

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