Deep breaths people heading into the media industry, it is not all doom and gloom!
For a man with 30 years of experience in the media industry Gingras is aware of the major changes the industry has gone through and describes it as a “period of disruption” which isn’t really a period because it will never end. This is a refreshing outlook on journalism as many see it as a dying industry what with the decline in newspaper circulation, advertisement revenue and engaged readers.
To myself and probably to most people wanting to break out into journalism the fact we are in a ‘period of disruption’ is a scary thought. However the reality is that it is only the way we carry out our work is different now to journalists 50 years ago, but the need for news and content is still there. It is just gathered and consumed in a different way, the ways in which we are learning – and fast.
“The future of journalism lies on the heads of the people in this room, you are going to be the ones who will mould it…in doing that the notion of entrepreneurship is really important.”
His advice to those entering the industry is “Go out and take risks, try things, do things, be creative in every part of your being, take every opportunity to learn a new skill, take every opportunity to express that skill and please don’t be afraid about being wrong.”
Throughout the talk at SF State Gingras highlighted many issues and problems the fast changing internet and media has caused businesses and entrepreneurs, and also the strong benefits it has had. One importance he felt is crucial for any type of business model to survive dramatic changes is innovation
“We weren’t talking about the social media layer 5 years ago, what are we going to be talking about 3 years from now, 2 years from now or 5 years from now, it is going to be something else…Build innovation into the DNA into the company, you want to build innovation into every part of your thought process and every detention to the arena that you are perusing whether it be news or making cars.”
Now, this is the first time I have heard a plan from a media professional to combat and cope with the ever changing industry. Gingras highlighted that we are going into a world where we will see far more information consumed in social media than by any other environment.
I personally agree with Gingras, I think innovation is the key for a company, whatever type it may be to survive. It can be seen in the companies he mentioned like Google and Apple.
Dr. Gary P. Hamel founder of an international management consulting firm based in Chicago, Strategos is an expert in management. He once said:
“Somewhere out there is a bullet with your company’s name on it. Somewhere out there is a competitor, unborn and unknown, that will render your strategy obsolete. You can’t dodge the bullet – you’re going to have to shoot first. You’re going to have to out-innovate the innovators.”
I think this is exactly what companies such as Google are doing with the emergence of Google Plus and other businesses like BuzzFeed as they adapt their businesses through innovation in a way they have already for seen problems before they occur or another company takes their idea.
We are seeing a change even in social media, where once we just used it to contact friends and family, we now use it to connect to businesses and people we do not know, but think we ought to know.
As well as social media change we see technological changes. I really liked the point Gingras made about how technology doesn’t have value, it has the ability to provide value. I think this is extremely important to consider as we see more and more people wanting to get involved in journalism and the number of citizen journalists soaring.
To watch the whole of Gingras’s talk click here.