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Malcolm Cole, Director of Media and Communications 

Plenty has been written in recent years about the demise of traditional media, and how the plethora of entertainment and information sources, including social media, are taking traffic from the longest-standing news sites.

When we have a major news event that requires detailed explanation and analysis, however, “old” media finds itself once again in the ascendancy.  We saw a very real example this week when large swathes of the east coast faced the threat of blackouts.

Many consumers would have learned of that threat through social media channels, as is the case for a lot of “news”.  However, the need for more in-depth information and analysis invariably drives us to traditional media – newspapers (including their websites), the ABC and commercial broadcasters.

When we want someone to explain complex issues such as the national electricity market, and help us figure out who to blame for the threat of the lights going out, it’s these legacy media organisations that we still turn to.

Channel Nine used to claim that it was the trusted news source for more Australians than any other. The ABC has the most popular news website in the country, remains the most trusted source of news for Australians.

Most notable, although the trust level varies among different mastheads, the top 15 “most trusted” news sources for Australians are all organisations that existed before the internet era, including major newspapers.  

Although they all now service clients through websites as well as their traditional print or broadcast formats, legacy media organisations are still able to capitalise on the authority and trust they have garnered over many decades.

Australians consume much less of this traditional news than they used to.  (Remember how in previous generations it was forbidden in many households to speak while the 6pm news was on.)

But we still turn to those sources at critical moments when we are in the dark – figuratively or literally! 

This won’t be the case forever, but it’s worth keeping in mind.  Newspaper companies and free-to-air broadcasters may be old, but they’re not yet dead.

When you need to speak to the media – old or new – the SAS Group can help.  Contact us to find out how.

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