From RobertFeder:Chicago news veteran Carol Fowler gives her take on the challenges of TV news in a digital world…
“I don’t know anyone under the age of 30 who watches news on television, just as young people certainly don’t pay for a newspaper. Audience habits are changing at warp speed, and it’s like the industry is moving in slow motion. We’ve navigated so far by managing costs. There’s still a keen eye on protecting profitability in the short term that regularly gets in the way of risk-taking and innovation.
“No one in charge wants to fail, of course. But the hesitation to boldly address this emergency is a failure of leadership. Maybe some are waiting for the economy to turn around. The economy isn’t helping matters, but that’s not the problem anymore. Much more fundamental. It’s been called a culture of inertia in the print world. I would argue the same is true for television. Everyone is excited about the smartphone, but how much energy is devoted to creating news apps? Are you aware of any experiments out there with a digital video paywall? Targeted online advertising? How much of an average TV newsroom staff is dedicated primarily to the website? In Chicago, maybe four or five people out of 100. At a time when we know young people don’t watch TV news, it just makes no sense.”
Read Robert Feder’s entire interview with TV news veteran Carol Fowler here.
It’s your turn. What are your thoughts about the challenges of TV news in the digital age?