Old media, new media that is rehashed old media and new media.

I consume a fair chunk of media. Not as much as I used too, as the red veil of cynicism tends to cover my eyes and ears these days as another lazy journo trots out a piece of link bait or a politician does his best parrot impression during an interview. But two little things helped crystallise my thoughts this week on the restrictions of old media and why it's not dying as quickly as I'd hoped.

The first was a little blog post by Mr John Birmingham, who writes everything from blogs to features to books non fiction and explody. He has sniffed the wind and seen the decline of traditional short form media and is pouring more of his resources into books. I can't blame him. As much as the SMH app has got me reading the paper every day again through its fantastic design, if it went behind a pay wall I'd stop reading, simply because there is so much absolute fucking dross in it.

I had hoped that the ABC might be the one to bust the mould, but their 'new media' effort, The Drum, is just a bunch of opinions thrown against a wall. The 'new media' wave, like Crikey, is like the old newspapers but without the paper. You still have to pay for the whole bunch and opinion rules over reporting. Crikey and the online edition of The Oz are two sides of the same worn coin.

What I'd love to see is a web page or service, that had a whole bunch of reporting, and opinion too, from a whole bunch of sources and writers. The first two paragraphs or a précis is up there for free, then I pay for every article I click on the full article for. No gimmicky crap like top ten lists that give a online paper ten page views. No articles split into 6 pages. No edetorial direction. If its good and I like it, then I pay. It would have to be cheap per article, but enough that a reasonable viewing of your stuff earns you a living. The longer and more thinky or researched the article the more you pay. Like iTunes you could view the 'paper' with the most popular by hits, time or dollars earned. That way, more expensive long form articles with lower page views wouldn't get buried by articles on cats on the Internet.

The same restrictions apply for radio. I love podcasts and one of my favourites is Richard Fidler's Conversation Hour. The biggest flaw it has is it is on the radio. Richard is a great interviewer, but that 50 minute slot means pieces of media that could be truly great are cut off just as they are cranking up. Even the fantastic two part interview with George Megalogenis was about three hours too short. In contrast, many of the tech and geeky podcasts that I listen to are run by networks that have no broadcast ties, no time slot to bow down too. If a topic is interesting and the conversation keeps running, that's fine, it's a little longer. Likewise if it is 40 minutes, no need for padding or nineteen station promos.

I'd love to see the ABC grab this and try some off air only stuff, in particular with their sporting commentators. I think a format that wasn't live or determined by a broadcast schedule might prove to be more popular than the traditional programs.

I have no doubt that old media is dying. The reason it isn't dead yet is that new media is still being born and old media is really only fighting against a repackaged version of itself. I look forward to a day ahead, where people pay per the persons output and quality wins out more than dross. I can hope anyway.

The farm. Need, want, dreaming

I Think About Infrastructure (and cows) More Than Can Do Campell