By Jissel Garcia.
Welcome to our world. Call us Millennium X- social blogging-smart phone using-touch pad cultured- online geniuses. As we bid adieu to the last of the Baby Boomer age, the days of radio and print publications have also began to die out. The throne has been passed down to the World Wide Web, where the fast evolution of media technology and consumption habits has been nothing short of extraordinary.
With advertising week ending just a week ago, this coming to terms with times really hit home. Marketing and communication leaders from around the world gave insight that inspired thousands, giving them a new direction of what this means for our future.
For college students choosing a profession, understanding this changing media landscape seemed crucial.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau, reports that online advertising saw a dramatic increase in earnings of 2,778% between 1997-2010, shooting up from $900 million to a bold $26 billion. More recently, earnings have continued to soar, doubling from $3.8 in the beginning of 2006 to $7.3 billion at the start of 2011. Even amidst an economic recession, online advertising has managed to keep the number one spot. Clearly, the internet has become everything.
Anyone looking for a job in the marketing-advertising-PR-live events areas must clearly understand social marketing (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as well as the mobile arena. “I made so many contacts [at Ad Week]. I networked my butt off, but also got a lot of insight on where the jobs are, and how to get them,” says Richard Pena, a recent CCNY grad who majored in MCA. “I think sometimes we take for granted the importance of social networking, and where it can take us.”
Because so many students have grown up with the social media—and the internet in general—much of what’s new comes naturally. “I live on the internet,” says Ugine Mulahoo, a CCNY senior and MCA major. “It makes it accessible for the world to be one, and easily communicate. Media infiltrates every other industry and profession in one way or another. I decided to join the MCA program because of that. There’s money in this field, if you’re good at what you do.”
As the digital world dominates, other areas of media are struggling. Within the last 6 years, overall newspaper ad revenues fell by almost half -$49.4 billion in 2005 to $25.8 billion in 2010, according to the Newspaper Association of America. The grandfather of media was hurt by the overpowering competition from online advertising, coupled with the economic recession. Magazines fared a little better, but have also been on a downward spiral. In a time where getting old seems easy, radio seems to have also fallen low. Though a booming medium back in its prime, in recent years it has faced the same story as print publications- getting bullied away by the internet.
In response, many students are turning away from old school media.
“They always tell you to do what makes you happy, but it’s really about being informed so you can do what makes your life most comfortable,” says Brittania Reynolds, a CCNY senior majoring in Communications. “I wanted to take up journalism as a minor, but I got discouraged when the Kindle and E-Reader came out. I feel like ten years from now, I’ll be telling my kids ‘back in my day, we used to read something called books.’ It’s a scary thought.”
Surely, we live in a time where the only constants are change and industry-survival. Yet even with this, the golden rule of the media industry should never be forgotten – versatility. So why not change for the better?
Professor Linda Villarosa, director of the journalism program at CCNY, reminds us that there are ways to beat this system. “Right now in journalism, you have to be able to do everything. The days of just being a print journalist are over. [Today,] most journalists have to be able to write, both in print and online, take photo shoots and edit video. The more skills you have across different mediums, the more valuable you are to a company,” she states.
Many students have learned to be flexible—while keeping an eye on the fast-changing future.
“We’re the sheep in this media landscape,” says Jermaine Robinson, CCNY senior and MCA major. “We need to be smart. We need to think ahead. We need to graze the money green pastures.”