Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the "State of the News Media" report is its suggestion that the mainstream media seems ill-equipped to deal with the changes brought by blogs, RSS feeds, etc. There are "signs of frustration, lack of innovation and the caution of the old media applied to the new," the report says.
After my trip last week to the Midwest, I'll admit I share the report's concern.
It seems to me that too much of the media simply won't look at what is happening. Media folk, strangely enough, have managed to cut themselves off from information about new media.
At the conference at Northwest Missouri State, I met broadcasters who had never heard of podcasting; talked with advertising executives who weren't familiar with craigslist; and lunched with journalists who had never read any of the world's 7.8 million blogs, hadn't heard of Dan Gillmor, and were unaware of the ongoing argument that objectivity should be replaced with transparency.
That's akin to meeting a group of petroleum executives who had never heard of the Exxon Valdez. Certainly there's room for debate on these issues. But how can anyone at this date be unaware that the debate has begun?