These days there are a few types of stories we see and write about consistently: (1) the legacy recording industry's troubles in adapting to a changing market, (2) the ability of a bunch of motivated, smart musicians, bucking the old way of doing things and finding tremendous success and (3) the legacy newspaper industry's troubles in adapting to a changing market. Given (1) and (2), you would think that (3) might lead to the obvious (4) of a bunch of motivated, smart journalists, bucking the old way of doing things and finding tremendous success. And, in fact, that is happening, particularly with upstart blogs, but it's not getting as much attention. Romenesko
points us to what should be a must-read essay over at the Columbia Journalism Review, highlighting the fact that worried journalists should be studying up on the success stories of musicians
who are succeeding even as the legacy recording industry struggles.
It makes a few key points (which I'm summarizing and paraphrasing in this list) that apply to both, but which don't always get as much attention in the journalism field:
- Give away as much content as possible to build a following
- Share, don't hoard
- Really engage and connect with your audience
- Be authentic
- Build your personal brand
Some journalists (and musicians!) will likely push back on some of these, but it seems pretty clear that the market is rewarding people who follow these steps, and punishing those who don't.