Is it my imagination or are there more end-of-year lists and predictions than ever? It would make sense, as there are more sources of information available to us than ever. Or perhaps my appetite for this media tradition every December is waning.
These lists can be poignant, whimsical, silly or just plain ridiculous. The best offer perspective on the year that was and some insight into the year that will be.
This list of the biggest PR blunders of 2010 is entertaining. Of course, at the top of the list is BP’s handling of the oil spill crisis in the Gulf. However, Richard Carufel ranks NPR’s firing of Juan Williams at No. 3 on the list. I’m not sure about the NPR blunder was that significant. But an opportunity was lost to examine the growing problem the media have with uninformed – and often loud -- opinion.
The New York Times released a thoughtful, moving compilation of photos from 2010. I defy you to review this without humble reflection on the world’s joys and disasters in the past 12 months.
For one of the more interesting overviews on the state of the media, see these survey results from Harvard's Nieman Journalism Lab. Here are excerpts:
Q. “Who will have more traffic: The New York Times or The Huffington Post?
A. “Old media wins — barely: 57 percent say the NYT, 43 percent HuffPo.”
Q. “Who will have more traffic: The Daily Beast or Newsweek?” (The two merged in 2010)
A. “Perhaps a trick question, depending on how NewsBeast finally decides to handle its URLs. But 83 percent think the Beast half will win out.”
Q. “Name two media companies you expect to merge in 2011, a la Newsweek and The Daily Beast.
A. The answers were a random spray: no two predictions matched up. Some of the more intriguing: AOL and Yahoo, Tribune and Yahoo, USWeekly and The Huffington Post, Slate and The Atlantic, TBD and the Washington City Paper, Clear Channel and Pandora, Politico and Roll Call, and Gannettand Groupon.”
Q. “How many local sites will Patch have in operation by the end of 2011? (It had 475 on 12/6/2010.)
A. “Most folks believe Patch will still be under 1,000 by next year’s end.”
Here’s a few prediction of my own:
- High profile journalists will continue to make news as they leave their traditional media organizations for more cutting edge publications such as AOL, the Daily Beast and the Huffington Post.
- Many more lower profile journalists will do the same, but make fewer headlines.
- Wikileaks will continue to leak.
- Many more lower profile leaks will continue to pepper media reports.
- The presence and value of opinion will grow in the mainstream media.
- Uninformed opinion will become more of a problem, resulting in more apologies and firings. (See Juan Williams and NPR.)
Do you have any others you wish to share?