Hating “Content” is Now a Thing?
Newspapers are still fighting for respect in the digital age of news, but picking nits – regarding the way some people in the news and digital agency worlds refer to content – is going in the wrong direction.
Marty Baron, the well-respected Washington Post editor was recently quoted in a NiemanLab article by the always-critical Ken Doctor, saying:
I hate the word content, which is infiltrated our profession. You have people who are called chief content officers and things like that. I don’t like the word content. To me, it’s like saying the word “stuff.” It has no meaning, whereas journalism actually does have meaning.
Baron’s point of course is that the work and effort that goes into a WAPO story is more than just a bunch of text on a page. It’s well-researched, edited, and published work that people should pay money to receive.
But looking down your nose at how people in the content strategy industry (like me) look at content makes him, and his newspaper, look a bit out-of-touch and destined to lose a chance at reaching that younger audience.
True, some people even outside newspapers don’t like the word, like Anne Cizek McColl, who says:
Content is something that fills a box.
Content commoditizes creativity.
Then there is Bob Hoffman, who in his blog the Ad Contrarian equates referring to your work as just “content” as cheapening.
Content is anything you can upload to the web. In other words, it is pretty much anything.
It is a Shakespeare sonnet and a picture of my cat’s ass.
It bestows value on anything, and in so doing, debases everything.
To me, content more than just the base-level of what you publish, but you need to be able make that critical view of what you do publish. That’s what makes content more than just text on a printed page or screen of any size.
Other Blog Posts
This isn't your Dad's news anymore There have never been more ways to get your news than there is today. Each generation has seen its "new media moment" from the newspapers, to radio, and then live television, but in the last 20 years we have jumped light years...
An inspiration to so many photographers The term legendary is thrown around often when someone passes, sometimes deserved, sometimes not. The value of that title is obviously most relevant to the people who appreciated the talent of the individual who has passed. In...
I spend a little time last weekend at the Fuelfed car show in Lake Forest. A nice mix of nice cars and relaxed people. It was fun to shake the rust off the Canon 40D, too. [ngg_images source="galleries" container_ids="2"...