|By Fuat Kircaali||
|January 7, 2010 01:30 PM EST||
Take a plastic world globe and place a pin on roughly where Silicon Valley is.
Then tie a piece of yarn to the pin and extend it to any country around the Globe.
With a quick visual conversion, the length of the yarn shows the approximate number of years for that particular country to get hit with the "new-media" tsunami forming in the United States.
What am I talking about?
Europe and Asia Historically Followed U.S. Two Years Behind
Well, traditionally for any technology trend to reach from the United States to Europe and Asia took a couple of years.
If we observe the recent "made in the USA" tech trends, let's say virtualization or cloud computing, which we happen to follow very closely, we see a two-year delayed adoption rate in Europe.
We also see Asia and the rest of the Far East catching up surprisingly faster than the rest of the world.
New-Media and Its Immediate Effects on Traditional Media - Magazines and Newspapers
Having said that, the purpose of this blog entry is not to talk about technology, virtualization, or cloud computing, but "new media," which is somehow and indirectly related to and enabled by the wide adoption of Internet technologies.
If we look at the state of the "new media" trends, we see Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world left far behind.
In this September 2009 press release from a Malaysian blog site, we understand that international newspaper publishers are celebrating the news: Despite the Global Financial Crisis, Newspaper Circulation Grew 1.3 Percent World-Wide in 2008.
Not too fast!
Do they realize that they are sitting on a two-year distance from a "new media" tsunami, and this is the last global newspaper circulation growth news we will ever read?
Let's read the analysis of this Turkish newspaper Zaman looking for clues in the actual age of newspaper columnists.
The older your newspaper columnist, the faster your circulation goes down the tube is the theory presented in the article.
"Turkey has a young population, with almost half of its citizens under the age of 28 (author's note: Turks may be smoking themselves to death before they grow old). It has around 2 million university students. However, the average age of newspaper reader is 36. The main reason behind the lack of interest of young people in newspapers is believed to be columnists who do not reflect the points of view of the country's young residents."
Wroooong! Remember The McLaughlin Group?
The correct answer is that the younger generation who were born with keyboards attached to their fingers are getting their news elsewhere, mostly from online sources including Tweets and cellphone apps, and there is nothing newspapers can do about it. That's number one.
"While we are on the subject of Twitter, we should point out that new generations of consumers are now guided to important news by the recommendations of trusted friends, and increasingly, they point to great reporting in sources that didn’t exist just a few years ago." - David Carr New York Times.
Because there won't be any newspapers left.
A blog post, such as this one that you are reading right here, can be set up within a few short minutes on a "new media" site such as Ulitzer, and will reach more readers than all of the newspaper columnists whose names appear on this page put together.
How about that for "breaking news" for this Turkish paper fixing the circulation problem by replacing the wisdom of the experienced writers with kids?
There is nothing wrong with the wisdom of the Mohicans.
My Early Years As A Newspaper Journalist
I started my journalism career in Nadir Nadi's Cumhuriyet, where Berin Nadi would visit the paper and her husband once a week in his third floor office next to İlhan Selçuk and Oktay Akbal's. Memed Fuat shared a small room with Doğan Hızlan. I brought Yaşar Kemal's tea as soon as he walked in the building. I was in Orhan Kemal's house in Besiktas in 1982 with six others for dinner when the jury opened the envelope to see the name of this young author whom they unanimously declared the winner of the 1983 Orhan Kemal Novel Prize. Refik Durbas and many legendary authors and poets have worked as copy editors on the second floor. I carried Ara Güler's camera equipment as he suddenly jumped from the cab, with his famous Leica camera in his hand, to chase a shot in flood water up to his knees outside the İnönü Stadium. When Alfred Hitchcock died, Atilla Dorsay was in Antalya with a German tourist group and without email or Blackberry, I ended up writing the breaking news story. I enjoyed dinners in the homes of Selim İleri, Yıldız Kenter, and Cemal Süreya. Cumhuriyet's editor-in-chief Oktay Kurtböke often walked outside the gates and personally beat the crap out of a few extreme right wing protesters who tried to picket the paper. Uğur Mumcu was 51 when he was gunned down. He would have been 68 if he were alive, and he would still have many loyal readers today.
Let's think about it for a while!
Here are the names of the newspaper columnists with their ages who are blamed for the circulation drop of their respective papers in this Zaman Newspaper article:
Ahmet Hakan Coskun (42), Ali Saydam (67), Asli Aydintasbas (28), Ayse Arman (40), Çetin Altan (82), Cüneyt Arcayürek (81), Deniz Gökçe (67), Dogan Hizlan(72), Ece Temelkuran (36), Erdal Safak (65), Ertugrul Özkök (62), Ferai Tinç (60), Güneri Civaoglu (70), Güngör Uras (76), Hasan Pulur (77), Hekimoglu Ismail (77), Hilmi Yavuz (73), Ilhan Selçuk (85), Ismail Küçükkaya (37), Kanat Atkaya (41), Mehmet Altan (56), Mehmet Barlas (67), Mehmet Faraç (45), Mehves Evin (39), Melih Asik (67), Mümtaz Soysal (80), Nail Güreli (77), Nazli Ilicak (65), Oktay Akbal (86), Oktay Eksi (77), Orhan Birgit (82), Özdemir Ince (73), Rahmi Turan (70), Sami Kohen (81), Tufan Türenç (64), Ümit Zileli (50), Yalçin Dogan (65), and Yavuz Donat (67).
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