Media runs on money – money to pay staff, writers, presenters and all the other infrastructure required to keep a business afloat.
In the traditional world not so many years ago the public PAID to consume media content:
- The paper boy offered you a paper at a price, you paid the price and consumed the content. If the content resonated with you, you bought the paper again and again.
- When television first came to South Africa we all bought TV Licenses which paid for that media infrastructure AND for radio.
Each of our micro payments to the media were a vote for the content that we wanted to consume.
Then business came along and saw that an easy way to advertise their products was to hire space on the paper and in the broadcast media so that they could ‘speak to their audience of choice’.
As time went by business became a much bigger contributor to the bottom line and the micro contributions from subscribers became more difficult to collect and retain.
And the inevitable happened – business became more powerful and dictatorial to media. The competition to get editorial mentions spawned public relations firms which became more powerful and employed journalists to generate content leading to a slow decline in talent.
The birth of the internet also made big business acutely aware of the possibilities to control, shape and direct human thought in order to sell more product.
Even on MyPE we are acutely aware of the demands of advertisers – a simple example: we curb swearing