Is non-corporate new media the future of information dissemination?

Extra-ExtraIt has been known for quite sometime that the newspaper industry is dying due in large part to technology. It is far more cost effective to publish a “paper” online than to publish one using paper and ink. Technology is becoming cheaper and there are efforts both private and public to get more people connected to the Internet.

Another aspect of news reporting that is changing is that anyone can report the news and most major news stories today contain content from regular people with cell phones or other forms of digital recording devices. Anyone can become a reporter and disseminate news via video “vlog” or by publishing a blog or starting their own news websites.

Black Talk Media Project founder Scotty Reid believes that terrestrial radio in time will go the way of newspapers as more and more Internet radio and podcasts are produced. Internet radio can be streamed to smart phones, tablets, and computers. Platforms like iTunes, Stitcher and Tune In have developed apps to allow online radio and video streaming to digital televisions and some have apps that allow streaming Internet radio and podcasts to vehicles. New vehicles rolling off the assembly line today allow attaching smart phones to the “radio” to stream media.

While forms of new media are certainly cheaper to produce and distribute over the Internet, acquiring revenue streams can be challenging. However, for those publishing uncensored content focusing on social/political news have always faced those challenges. One question new media publishers have to ask themselves, are they more interested in disseminating truth or making themselves rich. A question for those who consume the media produced by independent new media producers is will they support financially.

It is an exciting time for independent news producers as more and more people bypass the social control known as mainstream media and increasingly turn to alternative sources of information. Now is the time to start planning for the future of media.

Related: Chris Hedges: Why the Newspaper and Magazine Industry Is Dying (2009)

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