Saturday, June 02, 2007

Things Change

Let me recount a little story a dear friend of mine told me about when she was a reporter for the AJC and used to cover technology, back when they actually cared about technology...

Friend said she had "sent herself", late nineties I assume, to a biggy music industry conference, just as the music industry was starting to have some serious shifts in their tectonic plates. Napster was running loose through the industry, and the industry was fighting back hard... in all the wrong places. At some point in the Biggy Conference, the head of the RIAA stated that the industry would go digital and drive themselves totally off the industry farm via the MP3, and I paraphrase here, over her dead body.

At that point, a young indie music techno type stood up and yelled towards the titans at the front of the room, "You're a fucking dinosaur, lady." Others took up the chant. All hell broke loose, and my friend, always the intrepid reporter, ran off to call the AJC desk in excitement to say things were just completely in chaos in, gee, of all things... the little 'ole recording industry, and that she needed a LOT of room, like maybe the front page even, to tell this kind of story the way it should be told.

The utterly disinterested (editor) voice on the other end of the phone told her, "You can have 10 inches."

I recount this tale only to warn of times here in a town long run by Cox Plantation Enterprises, and one other alt publication, that the music industry fought and raged against the new, digital machine, and they lost. Their entire industry is in turmoil. And as we move towards what the APC so quaintly calls "New Media" here in the news biz, don't be surprised if we too experience a few You're a fucking dinosaur moments of our own. It's not so much "New Media" as it is an industry-smashing tsunami.

As I mention over at Radical Georgia Moderate, it is a sorry day in hell when journalists like Doug Monroe, who at this point in a fine career should be running papers, are run out of town, and the papers are left to be run into the ground by the likes of Ken Edelstein and Julia Wallace.

Then again, with arrogant, clueless jerks in charge of papers, we have nothing to fear. They’ll only help steer an entire industry right into the ground… just like a lot of aging dinos did with the music industry. As if all the people watching ‘em crash and burn, here on the ground going digital, could care less.

I hope they don’t ask us to come and haul their derisive, dismissive, divisive, arrogant butts out of the wreckage either… we’ve got new media product to keep on cranking.

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