TV news and content needs social media to survive

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More people go online than they watch TV for news and content. I challenge you to prove me wrong. Come on! Prove me wrong! And if you do, I’ll give you a signed copy of my latest book, a t-shirt and a framed photo I took in Afghanistan.

Yet, the old farts involved in TV still think they are DA BOMB. Sure, let them stay in the bubble they love so much and watch it start getting smaller and smaller.

Look, I’m not saying that TV will die. It won’t. It just won’t be the number one destination anymore for news and content. And I’ve been saying this over and over again but nobody wants to listen here in Malaysia.

Dale Blasingame wrote on PBS’ Mediashift blog:

– The latest numbers from Nielsen show TV viewership amongst 25-34 year olds (you know, the demo) is down 24 percent from 2010. That percentage continues to grow every quarter.
– The University of Florida released data in February 2015 that show 83.4 percent of young people consider their primary news source as either an online-only news site, the website of a traditional news organization, Facebook, Twitter, or some other social network. Broadcast TV came in at 4.5 percent.
– What’s even more troubling for TV newsrooms? Ask young people how many of them still pay for cable or satellite. Then ask how many consume a majority of their media on mobile platforms (see the MediaShift special on cord cutting here). The answers aren’t good for the status quo in TV news.


And then when it comes to content on the Internet, I have also been convinced that websites and portals are no longer relevant. There is no one place to collate all your content for people to come and consume.

Stories (articles, videos, photos, or whatever) will now sole exist in the realm of social media. And it will cease to exist once the people who consume it say so. People will like and share good content while bad ones just die in obscurity.

So it doesn’t matter where your content is consumed, The important thing is that it just gets consumed. It can be on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram or whatever (much less on a single portal!), and it doesn’t matter.

You see, putting something on a single portal and making sure that everyone comes to it for all your content makes it easy to track and it just means that you’re too lazy to think of other ways to evaluate and track your content that exists independently online.

Blasingame goes on to say:

We want news. We want content. But how we consume it, when we consume it and, most important, where we consume it is fundamentally different – and many TV newsrooms either don’t get that or refuse to accept it.

The idea that people still wait for news to be delivered to them on their televisions at 5, 6, or 10 p.m. is beyond outdated. We want content now – in some sort or fashion.

TV newsrooms can’t hide behind the “second screen” excuse anymore. They need to understand the TV may be the second screen when it comes to their content – and that situation will only increase as time goes on.


Also, the fact that TV news and content is so fixed in their ways isn’t helping at all. Just because they have been doing stories a certain way (eg: voice-over, cutaways, stand-uppers, blah blah blah) doesn’t mean that there aren’t any other ways to do it.

See! It’s an old fashion mentality that just isn’t open to new ideas and ways of storytelling and distributing those stories.

Blasingame again:

TV newsrooms have to get out of the box that tells them packages, VOs, and VOSOTs are the only way to tell stories.

Okay. Now that a Mat Salleh has said it, are you going to believe him and ignore the fact that i have been predicting this for years previously? But then again, don’t take my word for it. Go read the blog entry here: How TV newsrooms should use Facebook (and why).

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