Interesting panel yesterday at PRWeek's Next conference: Discussing the changing media landscape. Panelists looked at how the PR industry has been transformed by the Internet, and Journalism Online founder Gordon Crovitz noted an “information overload” with which everyone is familiar. Crovitz referenced Twitter, pointing out that 25% of the site's posts deal with news items, while Sree Sreenivasan, dean of student affairs with Columbia Journalism School, cited the Web transition as reenergizing a new generation of journalists and PR professionals. He noted that applications for its j-graduate school are up 40% this year.
Brian Stetler, media reporter with The New York Times, shared a telling anecdote concerning how social media can step in when other forms of communication may be too static to react at an immediate pace. During the 2008 Olympics when NBC decided to delay broadcasting the event's opening ceremonies, online communities responded via social media to complain and share video clips of the live presentation. The choice to save the program for prime time ratings created a backlash from the blogosphere, resulting in a major story for Stetler the next morning, one which he may have missed otherwise.