A Lot Has Changed


It's been a while since I've written here on VoIPWatch. A lot has changed and yet in many ways the song remains the same. In the hey day of blogging I would post three to four items a day, share my opinion and the cabal of other bloggers like Om, James, Rich, Jeff, Martin, Ted, Alec, Jim, the late Russell, all would also be posting, linking and sharing. Here, I chose to take a perspective based on the core ideas of blogging-I offered insight, perspective and opinion, which I referred to as IPO. I did this, often with a cadre of clients begging to be written about in my blog, something I did only after others had written, or if no one had taken my offer up to write first. 

Today, being Giving Tuesday, I'll give a few things. First, I put out an almost daily newsletter, The Comunicano,  which you can subscribe to by simply adding your name to the list. It has up to 24 items you should know about, often from the top media sources that are still bastions of integrity and honest reporting, even if they're not always right. It's free and my daily gift to keeping people informed.

But now, it's time to give you my thoughts, as that's what I've always done.

The difference here has been, and always will be that when I write, I write with transparency. If the post refers to a client, I've made a point of mentioning that for many, many years, unlike some so called "top influencers" who are paid to write, post, tweet or go to events at the expense of the company in exchange for regular coverage. Sure, I've been to some of those same events, and have also been paid by some of those companies too, but the lack of transparency with influencers and analysts has made a mockery of the numbers on social media and "reporting," and has for the most part made PR all PESO-Paid, Earned, Shared or Owned and we all saw what that did to the Mexican economy, and what that all led to. 

That's pretty much the state of what attempts to pass as journalism today–Fake News. Made up news. Articles and accounts that aren't fact checked, unattributed statements by someone who told some reporter something. As a lifelong media person, I've been on all sides, and in many ways I still am. I've been a PR person-and I hate that title-a copy boy, a sportswriter, on air talent on TV, sports color analyst, night time DJ, event producer, podcaster, speaker, influencer, and social media personality.  My degree is in Journalism, and I've lectured to students too about media, so over the last four and a half decades of being around all this a lot has changed and yet it really hasn't. Forget about all the stories I've pitched, sometimes I've been the story, other times I've been the architect of the story, but one thing has always been a constant. It has always been true.

Most of all the idea of a "free press" and an unbridled media has all but evaporated. Sure there are the independent thinkers. The pundits who use blogging like I do. We have our "followers" and our "readers" and like some news personalities our stories may get shared, but at the end of the day, the state of media is in a major need of repair as often the news isn't true, but here, like the Elvis Costello tune, "My Aim is True."

While we have more choices, we really have less and less perspective on things. Too much is about the "new and shinny" gizmo or gadget. Or about the funding-not about what that which is being funded may do–if it will do anything but burn the cash and will be in the media solely to get more cash.

No. Our media is no longer the counterbalance to all that is wrong. Reporters, and bloggers too, who dare to challenge or push the hard questions to company CEOs often find themselves no longer included in briefings, getting the "word" in advance or being invited  to the press events.  Brands use access to their information and executives as capital–I know one well respected reporter who once agreed with me about something Apple had done, but chose to not pursue the story out of concern of being left off the list of early device review opportunities or access to the executives. 

And with less "beat" reporters covering the stories, and instead stories have to find the reporter, we get more homogenized accounts of the news release that crossed the wire that same day. I find it rewarding how Jeff Bezos has taken a hands off approach with the Washington Post, and how Mike Bloomberg keeps things fair and honest with the numbers. It's encouraging that the Benioff's have invested in media, and Mrs. Jobs too. These scions of tech and wealth know that there's a need for legitimate, unbiased, fair and respected journalism. And I agree.

I don't know if we'll ever again really have a "free" press. But I do know one thing. A lot sure has changed, but in many ways, it's all still the same.