News IS Entertainment

Much was made about John Key describing Campbell Live as “entertainment”…failing entertainment but entertainment nonetheless.

The left-wing were agog…how dare they call Saint John’s show entertainment…yet that is precisely how people consume news these days.

A recent article at Baekdal on wider media trends explains why. But the news segment is fascinating:

What about TV news? Is that dead? Well, this one is tricky.

Dedicated news channels like CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News are not really something people watch because of the news. They are more a form of entertainment and as such fit perfectly with the 2.8 hours of leisure TV per day.

As such, neither of these (nor their European counterparts) are in any real trouble. There will be changes commanded by the nature of on-demand TV (and the internet in general), but no real ‘disruption’. ??

What will change, however, is the dedicated news program. In my country, for instance, our national TV station (similar to the BBC) will broadcast a daily 30 minute program with news, sports and weather.

It’s a format that makes a lot of sense to the older generations, but for younger viewers brought up in the age of the internet, nothing about this makes any sense.

Why would I want to wait a whole day to have a person read 4-6 news stories to me on TV? And why would I wait all day to have someone tell me what the weather will be tomorrow?

I already know all that from the internet, where I can get the latest news about anything, from anywhere, at anytime.

So, the future of CNN/Fox/MSNBC is not really what’s changing, because their format is more to be a kind of background entertainment. But dedicated news broadcast once per day is absolutely dead.

People want to consume news when they feel like not when networks tell them to. Deadlines and schedules are out the window,?it is news now or not at all.

Another thing that is dead is the old concept of the TV schedule. The very idea that you can only watch a specific show is on a specific day and time makes no sense anymore. This is a limitation of distribution, which just doesn’t exist in the digital world.

The daily TV schedule is absolutely dead.

The slow-witted will wither and people whose organisations can adapt and change rapidly will win.

Old media is moribund and changing editors or faces won’t work in the long run.