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Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
Nov 20

After AP & BusinessWeek Layoffs, Some Articles of Faith

Nicholas Ludlum

by Nicholas Ludlum
Category: Media

Like a lot of people yesterday I sat slack-jawed as the impact of Bloomberg’s acquisition of BusinessWeek filtered through Twitter.  I’m still having trouble understanding how BusinessWeek is in better shape without many of the incredible talents who are now left to chart new courses.

As the departures settled in - compounded by the week’s AP layoffs - I realized that my own response is really based on the vague sense that this period of destruction will be creative and beneficial.

I have no objective reason for believing that journalism will be better off for these changes, and deep down I know that the arguments of pessimists have as much going for them as those of optimists.

Nevertheless I can’t shake the belief that we’re headed in a good direction, even if it the road is painful. I’m not one to proselytize, but here are my articles of faith:

  • I believe that media layoffs, impending bankruptcy’s, declining ad rates and subscription revenue, and the implosion of the publishing business model are good things;
  • That this destruction is creative and is already paying off for both journalists (albeit the more entrepreneurial-minded) and readers;
  • I believe that every laid off journalist is a new media brand and a dangerous competitor to their previous employer;
  • That fidelity to long-standing media brands is a waste of time;
  • I believe that every day the internet evolves to find new ways to make me better educated, more knowledgeable of current events;
  • I believe that this is fueled as much by ‘citizen media’ as it is by professional journalists, media companies and others using new approaches to practice journalism;
  • I believe that some people will pay for the content they care about, and that some won’t;
  • That enough will pay to fund a few global traditional media brands, even while most go out of business or become shadows of their former selves;
  • That the elimination of much traditional media will create a vacuum that will be filled by journalists innovating the practice journalism in ways we are only just beginning to imagine, and that will enrich us all.

Is this blind faith? Perhaps. But I see new reasons to believe in it every day.

Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide