Algonquin 3.0: Don’t Write Them Off

Just a few doors down from the Kaplow office, at the Algonquin Hotel, thought leaders met for a panel discussion on Tuesday to discuss the changing shape of the media landscape. The panelists were joined by Kaplow clients, friends of the agency, influencers, and high profile journalists.

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During the panel discussion entitled, Don’t Write Them Off, Television, Newspapers, Magazines, Radio Reinvented, Sree Sreenivasan, professor at Columbia Journalism School and social media guru, noted that in order to stay relevant today’s journalist must connect with audiences using an approach one of his colleagues has coined “tradigital.” He defined tradigital as a traditional journalist with a digital overlay. He also optimistically reported that the Columbia School of Journalism has seen a 40% rise in applications, even while the industry undergoes a drastic change.

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Jean Chatzky, Financial Editor, TODAY Show is a tradigital journalist who has adapted a number of different platforms. In addition to her role on television, she writes a weekly newspaper column for the Daily News, monthly articles for More magazine and also participates in social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. She says she enjoys taking a multi-faceted approach to her work as it gives her the opportunity to “take a story that [she] is working on and incubate it, if it needs time to gather the right sources and put the package together.” On the flipside, if she has a breaking news story, she also has the ability to share that story right away using the internet.

Lesley Jane Seymour, Editor in Chief of More magazine, believes that the cluttered world of fashion magazines may consolidate, but as long as quality content remains and magazines offer something transformative, people will continue to purchase them.

Lincoln Millstein, senior VP-digital media at Hearst Newspapers, echoes Lesley’s confident attitude about the future of newspapers, noting that the doom and gloom story has been “oversold and overtold.” When it comes to newspapers building revenue, he suggests that media work “together as an industry” and follow the model provided by cable television, creating an environment where people solely gain access to content through subscriptions. He also notes that consumers view their news stories as a commodity, and “they will not pay for a commodity that is not highly differentiated.”

Alan Levy, Founder and CEO of BlogTalk Radio, stressed that “audiences are no longer sitting in front of tv or reading the paper… they are everywhere.” In order to stay relevant, the industry must make content available everywhere.

A Kaplow client asked the panelists about the role of the PR professional as the industry shifts, each of the panelists offered some of their insight on how the PR industry can continue to effectively deliver their message.

The optimism inherently present in the discussion’s title was reinforced by the remarks of everyone present. To hear the entire discussion, check out BlogTalkRadio.

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