Does the ABC belong in tech media?

Rural media have, of late, expressed concern about the ABC’s plans to create a series of regional news websites, each dedicated to news about and/or from a town or region. Worried that ABC content will drag eyeballs away from their own offerings, rural media has complained long and loud that the national broadcaster could reduce their audience, thereby reducing the likelihood anyone will want to advertise in their publications.

IT media may now have the same issue to confront, because Auntie has recently advertised for an Editor, Technology and Games.

The job description says the successful application will, among other things, be expected to “Develop an agenda setting online destination for audiences interested in both consumer and business aspects of digital technology.”

Yep – you read that right: head on competition for the IT media.

Quite why the ABC feels the need to get into our business is anyone’s guess. Diversity seems not to be a sustainable argument: regional areas seldom have more than one media outlet, but IT is replete with dozens of outlets.

If the aim is to supplement current offerings like Good Game, I think the ABC is on the wrong track because I don’t get how it serves the public to air a show that basically consists of  free publicity for commercial products. (Ditto The Movie Show)

So I suppose I should get all upset that Auntie now wants to challenge the publishers who help me to make a living … except for the fact the ad also says the successful application gets to commission outsiders to provide content.

Seriously, though, this job does raise important issues about why the ABC is coming into tech media.


A personal dictionary

I’m trying, this year, to be a little more precise in my writing and speech.

Here are some items in my emerging personal dictionary:

  • “Greatly dislike” or “detest” – My substitutes for “hate.” I dislike hate becase of the way it is used in contexts like “hate crimes.” It seems to me there are few occasions on which I experience emotions with a similar strength and/or negativity (not to mention irrationality) to those expressed by perpetrators of hate crimes, so am trying to use milder, more precise language.
  • “Exceptional” – my substitute for “great,” which is horribly overused. Alexander the Great conquered half the known world before his 30th birthday. An exceptional cricket shot cannot therefore be great.
  • “Brawl” –  I find the use of war as metaphor for commercial conflict to be inappropriate for several reasons. If there are only two combatants, I feel language that reflects the conflict more precisely does readers a better service. So you won’t see me writing about companies going to war or battling.
  • “Demise”, “decline” or “descent to irrelevance” – I feel that we in the media often oversimplify things by declaring that markets only produce winners and losers and that the losers are “dead”. This belittles numerous niche vendors who make perfectly good livings without being dominant or prominent. Think of dot matrix printers, for example. So rather than writing that a technology such as tape is “going to die” I would rather write about it becoming less relevant to mainstream users or something along those lines.

I’ll update this post as more entries come to mind.