Assistive Journalism and the Decline of Traditional Media

April 11, 2013

By Amy Holloway

Today’s hyper-connected society calls for a new approach to media relations. Digital news is edging out traditional media. There seems to be no cap on the volume of news and information generated on a minute-by-minute basis. The declining fortunes of traditional publications have resulted in less time and resources available for their journalists to pursue investigative research. Many journalists are pressured to generate multiple stories a day to keep online news outlets fresh.

All of these factors mean that even the most compelling economic development stories often get lost amid the cluttered and constantly changing media environment. It also presents an opportunity for EDOs to gain more of the spotlight.

Avalanche has coined the term “assistive journalism” to describe an improved approach to media relations for economic developers. With this method, EDOs assist reporters by producing and providing them with original content. Reporters and bloggers can then expand upon these ready-made stories with supplemental interviews and context as desired, or publish them as-is. The resulting collaboration is a win-win for publishers and EDOs alike.

The decline of traditional media started us thinking about journalism and PR (public relations) occupations in general. It seems we can’t throw a stick without hitting a PR expert nowadays. The data justifies our theory that they are indeed multiplying. During the past 15 years, the number of PR Specialists in the US has more than doubled while the number of traditional journalists in the US has declined by more than 12,500. There are now approximately four PR Specialists for every Broadcaster, Reporter or News Analyst.

Okay, so there you go. Now we’ll return to helping our clients discover stories and content worthy of assistive journalism.

Assistive Journalism