Why Modern Journalism Makes PR Easy

Last Updated Mar 18, 2008 10:56 AM EDT

Press Conference image by blogefl [cc, 2.0]David Card of JupiterResearch recently noted the new world of journalism -- even for a top-tier paper such as the New York Times. News these days, he says, is a far cry from "how they did it back in the Dark Ages when I was a reporter." Journalists used to face hours of research and broken lead after broken lead. Card says those days are over, largely because of sites like MySpace -- for better or worse. He offered up the recent story of Governor Spitzer's escort as an example.

In a 1,100 word story about the alleged prostitute who brought down NY governor Eliot Spitzer, the NY Times' two bylined reporters (with help from three others) spend about 250 words on an interview with the subject and 425 quoting from her MySpace page. Three photos accompanying the story are sourced "MySpace.com"

Earning publicity once required interviews, press releases, launches, and expensive fêtes for the media. Today, the media regularly sources the tenuous and little-vetted world of MySpace, Wikipedia, Facebook, and Flickr. In five minutes time, the media may have the story they want. PR is now about broadcasting your message across these channels and writing your message with the average Joe in mind. Now, more than ever, you don't have to go through the middlemen of mainstream media.

Press releases are now as much for the consumer and small-time blogger as they are for the career journalist. Impressing the journalists of yore is not longer as essential because getting your message out there is now as easy as clicking upload or send.