What–Print media in Europe still rules?
In the digital age and the news of dire straights of the newspaper business in the US, you would think that would be the case globally…not so, according to some top emerging european journalist selected as Edward R Murrow Fellows visiting the US. Print media in Europe still rules according to these industry mavens and practitioners.
I had the honor of attending a reception in their honor this evening at the UNC-School of Journalism and Mass Communication(my alma mature) in conjunction with the US State Department and the International Affairs Council of North Carolina.
I met many of the “up and coming” European journalists on an immersive fellowship to the US. They were from all over, Germany, Macedonia, Denmark, Bulgaria, Iceland, Norway, Austria….I thought I could really talk shop and find out about the digital news revolution and how that has effected and changed news and journalism in Europe. To my surprise….nope…almost all talked about how the “prestige” still rests in print media journalism–newspapers, magazines, etc.
3 Take Aways from my Euro-Journalism Meet & Greet:
- Print media still rules: Several journalist had rotated throughout their organization’s departments, from online to culture to investigative—Of all of them…the most money and fame came from the print media role. (Could it be because all the print media journalist that serve as mentors already made their fame and careers?)
- Digital journalist haven’t gained credibility. These people were fairly young, so I was surprised at their skepticism of digital journalist. Perhaps they still held on to their formal training and ideology of the role of a journalist…credibility and truth only could be regulated by the print media, edited process? I was surprised at the skepticism. It reminded me of the time when I was in school and you could not use the internet as a source because it was not validated.
- European social and subsidized system may be a key contributing factor to the slow transformation. As you may know the socialist system of Europe takes care of people regardless. Unlike the US, where we have small subsidies, welfare, social security, etc, in the EU…the society will take care of you. EU government subsidizes the airline industry, health industry, and at least in the Nordic countries…newspapers. So if the government is going to compensate for the loss in a news organization’s revenue…why on earth would print journalist change their tune about digital media.
I think this is just posting the inevitable…once governments run out of money and add in the continued pressure of globalization, digital journalism and the monetization of digital journalism will catch on in Europe and will create a natural transfer of prestige from print media to digital over time. No matter, a good journalist will still have prestige regardless of media–asking insightful, revelaing questions and communicating that information in a way for their audience to understand will prevail.
Thoughts? Am I off base? Are you surprised as much as I was? How do you think Europe will evolve as the digital revolution evolves?