Financial Times writer David Bowen wrote today that Sen. Barack Obama‘s announcement of an exploratory committee about his likely U.S. presidential candidacy via his own website “shows that the web can be wonderful, but only if it works hand in hand with the steam-driven world, so don’t go writing off newspapers and television just yet.”
Does Bowen’s view — obviously an old-media way of looking of things, but not without a pinch of real-world validity — apply in any way, shape or form to entertainment news stories?
“I know the Obama site exists only because I read it about in the papers,” Bowen goes on. “All the reports noted that Obama made the announcement on [it]. If they had not, what would have happened? No one (well, few people) would have thought to look for it. It would have remained just one among millions of websites that can be found if you are looking for it, but you would be as unlikely to stumble across as you would to prick your finger on that needle in a haystack.
“This may seem blindingly obvious, but it is a good example of an important point that is perhaps being forgotten. The web is a secondary medium. Obama√ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢s site may be a pleasing way of getting his message across…but only if people find it via a primary medium.
“What do I mean by primary medium? Simply, one that people will turn to themselves, or be exposed to without effort √ɬ¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Ǩ≈ì a high visibility medium, you might call it. Newspaper articles or advertisements, television reports or commercials, radio ditto, hoardings by the side of the road. Indeed the billboard on a busy road probably wins the visibility prize: it is difficult not to see.”