Since the emergence of interactive, on-demand new media, radio is often referred to as old media. What does “old” mean? Is this a negative descriptor for radio? That depends on who’s talking. Consider these two Wiktionary definitions of the word “old”, along with my interpretations of them:
Old: “Of an object, concept, relationship, etc., having existed for a relatively long period of time.” Connotations: prestige, beloved, familiar.
Old: “Of a perishable item, having existed for most, or more than its shelf life.” Connotations: moldy, irrelevant, antiquated, and (gasp!) obsolete.
The latter definition suggests that radio is no longer relevant, or is in danger of being replaced. It’s this connotation that makes the term “old media” offensive, making “new media” seem like an enemy instead of an opportunity.
Strike that negative definition of the word “old” from the record. Refer to radio as “old media” with pride; think of the term as kin to the phrase “old friend”. Like an old friend, radio is cherished, respected, and dependable. Also like an old friend, radio is evolving to keep the relationship strong- staying relevant to listeners who are changing with the times.
Scott St. John says
Too many times I hear the phrase “old media” used against me – “you are in old media” and we are “new media”. I’m happy for them, but also remember when something is new the shake down has not happened yet, the point of entry is low. Anyone can record a podcast and I encourage them! We need more talent!
Old media can also mean: experience! It took a long time to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Our engineer spends hours every week making sure we sound good and he is on call 24/7 when something is wrong.
An excellent example happened this week. We had replacement refs in the NFL who did a not so great job the last 3 weeks. Sure, they tried and I give them credit, but they were clearly over their heads, Last night the regular refs returned to a standing ovation and for the first time in 3 weeks I gave a sports report that concentrated on the plays and final score.
Now, would you use “old refs” vs “new refs” when talking about them? No, but it’s damn clear that lots of experience and training make a difference in the end product.
I’m excited about the new options available to us in media! So, those of us in the old media – embrace the new, use it to your advantage and someday we can get back to my favorite word: radio 🙂
Stephanie Winans says
LOVE the example about the replacement refs as it applies to “experience”.
I always enjoy your thoughts, so thanks for sharing them.
Jacquelyn Bullerman says
I am a big fan of the terms: “Online media” & “offline media”. They don’t put any judgement on either platform yet they makes a very clear distinction of what is being referred to…
Additionally, it is great at illustrating the need for having a presence in both worlds (i.e. ” Now that we have your offline media figured out lets figure out the best plan for your online needs.”) By classifying the media in this manner it allows for additional opportunities for both the station and the advertiser.