Porn and the Media

I stumbled upon this, “What the journalism industry can learn from porn”. Perhaps the post’s most compelling idea is that journalism should get on the ball and embrace the mobile platform. Porn’s already there. Journalism; not so much. Here is a huge opportunity that MSM is just sitting on. “The journalism industry is often reactive instead of proactive when it comes to new technology platforms” sums this problem well. I do understand the reluctance to invest in these channels. Incurring costs can be terrifying, especially untested ones. Yet, failure to innovate also brings a cost. Adopting the hottest technology is always quite expensive (supply and demand).

Also, “very few online news sites are providing large amounts of video content produced exclusively for the web that is not derivative of a print or broadcast story.” Journalism has the potential to greatly expand their offerings via digital content. The column inches limitations are non-existant. Thus, the web offers some incredible opportunities to flesh a story out deeper, offer different levels of content based on interest, link related articles to build a larger idea of “story”, and interact with their readers to build a story’s depth. Little of which is being executed.

However, there are some key differences that will make porn a poor model for journalism to emulate. First, the power of sex. Arousal brings a certain urgency that is beyond rational. As journalism interacts with a different part of the brain, this power to draw cash is greatly minimized.

There is, also, the issue of talent. I’m sure finding someone adept at ”performing“ adult content in a video shoot presents some challenges, finding a talented journalist is more so. Somehow I doubt porn actors demand high level benefits packages. expect that porn has a lower labor cost (though I have little interest in exploring 10k’s to try and quantify this). And finding new ideas isn’t generally a concern of adult entertainment. For media trying to maintain a daily/weekly print edition, this gets even more stretched. Combine that with the additional costs of print, and the challenge gets greater.

Porn may offer some compelling ideas, and have charted some key new directions and technologies. I truly hope journalism doesn’t go to far in adopting the porn model, though. I would love to see the journalism industry become the cutting edge driver of technology. That would be a true delight.

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