‘Out of touch? We never heard that.’

The Zogby Interactive polling division basically confirms what it found a year ago about journalism, people and the Internet.

 The results are very ugly for the news business, which is so deep in denial it’s unlikely it can emerge. Bearing in mind that it’s American, highlights (or maybe that should be lowlights) from the poll are:

  • Two thirds of those polled think mainstream journalism is out of touch with what the audience wants.
  • Digital natives (people under 30) are emigrating from old journalism like newspapers and TV, and are much happier on the Internet.
  • Half of all respondents use the Internet as their primary source of news and analysis. That figure is up by 8 per cent in a year, and rising.
  • The Internet has won full acceptance as a news source, with 86 per cent saying it is important or very important.
  • Asked for the single most trustworthy news source in the world, 32 per cent said the Internet, 22 per cent chose newspapers and 21 per cent cited TV.

“We see clearly the beginnings of a world in which we are all media.”

Last July, the Institute for the Connected Society did a terrific report that humanised and localised the developments in 21st century journalist that traditional media just don’t get. It focussed on the campus shooting at Virginia Tech University last year. Even though the live TV cameras and 800 mainstream journalists got to the scene in their chartered helicopters, the story was already out and around the world, thanks to the local community, via cellphones and websites.

Did anyone read it?

Traditional Media contacted by the Institute of Important Studies all said they hadn’t heard about the poll or the report. “Out of touch?” asked one incredulous editor when he was finally reached on his home telephone after being out of touch for several hours. “What a strange thing to say. After all these years, it should be pretty clear there is no one more in touch than today’s journalists.”

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