Michelle Haimoff at HuffPo:Media advance a “startling” possible future, probably a dark one in her view: a future where former employees of failed journalistic organizations must take jobs tapping out content for the online entities of large corporations. She paints this “disturbing” vision of the future:
At present, Starbucks.com is a static corporate website. If Starbucks.com were to buy content from online literary magazines that are currently begging for donations, like Narrative, Guernica and Anderbo, Starbucks.com would become a virtual literary coffee house, thereby both enhancing its brand identity and driving visitors to the site.
If Exxon.com, another static corporate website, were to buy the content from Car and Driverand Motor Trend, not only would those writers have jobs again, but they would be getting paid more than they ever did.
Thing is – this has happened once before. Granted, when General Electric acquired NBC, they didn’t start populating their website with editorial and news filler from their NBC reporters, but for a corporate website, it sure is filled with lots of substantive content and interesting viewpoints.
Corporate owned media, which is what’s being talked about here as if it were a new concept, is exactly what social media evangelists have been talking about for ages, though: not only listening to the conversation, which is important, but participating in it. This can mean putting out pieces that look like journalism or literary work, and it can simply mean blogging in a personal way, as Southwest Airlines does.
Is it, then, such a dark future then? When former members of the press may collect paychecks from corporate overlords?
I think not.