Much has been written about the incredible talent (or dastardly skill depending on your viewpoint) Apple has to fuel momentum and coverage for its product launches. The latest news tsunami for the iPhone is a case in point. But beyond the tactical lessons, I’ve read/heard some interesting comments about the iPhone launch as a watershed in how media outlets are covering events, and how the news itself is being generated and distributed. A post by Steve Rubel details how USA Today reached out to interested viewers/readers via survey questions and by asking them to forward photos and videos from relevant iPhone events. Rubel suggests this forward-thinking approach – which acknowleges the increasingly important role of “citizen journalists” – puts USA Today squarely in the lead of big media companies struggling with Web 2.0 developments. Their collaborative, win-win-win approach makes a great deal of sense to me. If you can’t beat them…. Popular blogger Jeff Jarvis, for his part, posted about the dramatic emergence of live video footage available on the net capturing the frenzy surrounding the sale of the iPhone last week. The prevalence of user-generated footage wasn’t the big story – that has steadily become more frequent and prominent as an unofficial source of news – but the fact that the videos were available in real-time on the internet was big news (no pun intended.) Being able to view events online as they occur – as filmed by ordinary folks or amateur journalists alike – takes the formal news outlets completely out of the picture.  There is plenty of debate on the pros and cons of these developments, but what is undeniable is that these anecdotes are further evidence, if we needed any, that news coverage has changed forever. Enlightened media companies (and PR agencies who work with media companies) will embrace this reality and adapt to remain relevant, rather than fight the tide.

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