One of our main goals here at Editorial IV is to keep you updated on the changing media landscape. Yesterday something interesting happened that you should know about. Henry Blodget, the founder, editor, and CEO of Business Insider, who is notorious for sharing the blog’s financial performance and readership numbers with the public, announced that Business Insider’s readership is now larger than The Wall Street Journal’s.
He shared the deck he presented at the Digital-Life-Design conference earlier this month. This is perhaps the most interesting slide because it shows that Business Insider’s readership is, in fact, bigger than The Wall Street Journal’s, which has for years been the center for business news.
It’s not just a win for Business Insider, it’s a win for digital journalism. “Digital journalism is as different from print and TV journalism as print and TV are from each other,” Blodget said. And digital can’t support print and TV, a strategy some of the giant outlets seem to be trying. Digital can only support digital, but that’s good enough. Traditional reporting, or “storytelling” as Blodget put it, still works in a digital world, but so do videos, live blogs, links, picture stories, “charticles,” texts, tweets, Instagrams, GIFs, and many, many more methods of sharing information.
With digital journalism, the challenge of dealing with an overly saturated market and the beauty of raw talent finding its way to the top exist simultaneously. It’s similar to the music and publishing industries. We’ve seen such an increase in participation among artists, authors and journalists that it’s often difficult to sift through it all and find the hidden gems. At the same time, many of those gems we eventually find simply wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for the level of participation the Internet allows. It also gives readers and listeners the power to define and segment the market. Consider for a moment a world with three major newspapers, the only sources of information. What are the chances they’d appeal to everyone’s interests? Highly unlikely. Now consider a world with three billion sources of information. That’s the direction we’re headed.
If all of the major print newspapers eventually die, will there be any lasting consequences?