This is going to take a minute to explain, so bear with me. To begin, if you’ve ever had any experience with breastfeeding, be it yourself or someone who you’ve observed nursing a child, you’re probably familiar with the term “liquid gold” as a synonym for breast milk. It’s that precious of a commodity.
When one of my children was struggling to breastfeed, I resigned myself to feeding him breast milk from a bottle, rationalizing that it was the contents, not the vessel in which it was fed (delivered). It was a consolation. To use a news term, the takeaway was that my child was getting the nutrition he needed, even if the physical connection to the source wasn’t present.
Now, if you consider knowledge and information to also be precious commodities you’re probably a consumer of news. How do you get your news? How has your method of acquiring information changed in the last 20 years? How about the last 3 years?
Personally, I only read the print edition of the local paper on Sundays. It’s a lovely little ritual complete with a second mug of coffee, scissors to clip coupons and an Edith Piaf or Miles Davis Pandora station.* The other six days of the week, I’m taking in news via Twitter, Facebook or news websites like timesunion.com, nyt.com and yes, even dailymail.co.uk.
I still want news, it’s just the vessel that has changed. Kind of like that breast milk in a bottle thing. Just because the print edition of a newspaper isn’t a growth industry, doesn’t mean that people don’t want to read news. And you know how breastmilk is uniquely formulated to meet the needs of an infant? That’s what these media-other-than-print information providers are already doing.
Digital news is preselected by the consumer according to the reader’s interests, politics and beliefs. Just think of who you follow on your various media platforms. You get to decide what and when you want to read the news of the day. It’s like feeding on demand and I think it’s pretty cool – and satisfying.
Yep, there are times when you just have to bottle it – be it breast milk or the news.
*See? Music is still consumed, just in a different way!