(I originally wrote this post for TechCrunch but figured it’s not worth lending these two gentlemen more credibility by publishing on a widely read platform.)
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry with what Christian Van Thillo, CEO of one of the largest media concerns in Belgium and co-director of multiple television, radio and print media holdings, and his partner in crime Bernard Marchant (Rossel Group) had to say about the future of media at a recent get-together at a fancy Brussels hotel hosted by the Belgian Marketing & Management Association.
Asked about what they think about the future of
dead tree print media, Marchant for one spewed out the same old bullshit that’s been coming out of the mouths of his colleagues from all over the world for years now:
“I continue to defend paper. Paper is unique. It’s a daily medium and easy to use. You won’t see media printed on paper disappear in the next 20 years.”
For the record, I agree that printed media won’t complete evaporate any time soon, but the notion that paper has any advantages over say, news delivered via the Web, because it’s ‘unique’ and ‘easy to use’ is downright hilarious. But ok, the man is merely defending his ground. I’m even willing to overlook the fact that he said Google has absolutely nothing to do with the content business and that the company doesn’t in any way affect his profession. Reality can be hard to spot, sometimes.
Van Thillo went with a different strategy and chose to attack bloggers in public. After stating that a recent survey fortunately-for-him showed that people were definitely willing to pay for content online (good luck with that), he was asked for his thoughts on the future of the journalist métier. His response:
“We have to get back to the basics. Reporters are well paid and thus are expensive to us. News is what is new to people and not the actual facts. Our job is to separate the uncommon from the common, to place emphasis on what’s exception and use the rest as efficiently as possible. That’s why bloggers are not journalists but merely the garbage of the web.”
Which makes me wonder how that makes the dozens of bloggers the man employs feel about that.
I sure know how I feel about it: enormously indifferent.
(Via NewsUp – in Dutch)