Saturday, March 08, 2008

Value-added local journalism

I don't know much about the blow-up at NPR that cost CEO Ken Stern his job, but what I do know supports this tough analysis of the situation by Jeff Jarvis.

Local affiliates apparently are worried that unless they can remain the exclusive purveyor of national NPR programming, listeners will desert them. They're right. But telling NPR it can't offer streaming audio or podcasts of those programs is surely the wrong approach. As Jarvis says, protection is not a strategy.

His advice to the local stations is characteristically Jarvis: blunt, slightly insulting, and mostly right:

Well guess, what, local yokels, hate to tell you this but… You’re screwed! You bet the internet is going to hurt you. There is no need for you as a distribution arm anymore. Unless you add valuable local content and service to the mix, you might as well tear down the tower now. Or in a year or two. Getting rid of Stern et al won’t get rid of reality.

This is the problem I see in all media: They think that protection is a strategy. It’s not.

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