Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

What news of the world? Credits:digitalart
In the past few days the focus of any media outlet you’ve turned into was… well, the media. In an unprecedented introspective mood, TV and radio stations alongside newspapers have been relentless in debating the News of the World scandal. Phone and computer hacking, bribery, intrusive detectives and celebrity gossip were the ingredients of a media circus like no other. And yet all of these have been instruments of the consumer media since the invention of the printing press. What is striking perhaps is the length to which numbers of journalists have gone to in order to ‘create news’. The question is now what are the traits broadsheets have lost and should aim for?

The fact that the Murdoch clan has decided to axe their fattest cow comes as a shock for anyone who’s ever picked up a newspaper. After a century and half of spilling the beans and spicing up British lives with controversy, it’s the end of an era for News of the World. One can’t help but to wonder why are the Murdochs fearlessly protecting Rebekah Brooks, when her sacking could have been the blood sacrifice needed to wash the broadsheet’s shame.

What I also found incredibly interesting out of this whole [messy] tale, is the media’s fascination with itself, the need for reflecting what it is and what it aspires to be, with and without make-up.

To be honest, I am grateful that as a PR agency specializing in technical and engineering clients we rarely cross paths with the relentless but otherwise fascinating mainstream media. And probabaly the differences between trade and consumer media are even more evident every time a situation like this occurs.

Trade magazines should perhaps be the rolemodel for all other news publications: in search of newsworthy people, products and companies and relatively unbiased. Most importantly, trade press has kept a key feature broadsheets have lost: the intention of informing rather than shocking, outraging and distressing the audience. 

In my view, the news of the World scandal brings out nothing new; it only re-iterates the vices of a historical trade. But when consumer broadsheets look in the mirror and are unhappy with what they see, perhaps they should follow into the footsteps of their less glamorous relatives – the trade magazines. This would perhaps reduce the need for sensational and bring journalism back to informing the people. 

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Oana Baetica - Technical PR consultant

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

1 comment:

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