I wish all those captains of industry who found themselves in the driving seats of our major newspaper groups in 2013 would wake up and realise success will be determined by the quality of content their newsrooms produce in print, online, on video and social media.
Getting rid of editorial staff or firing competent editors will not help achieve this goal.
I wish those same newspaper groups wake up to the fact that the reading public of this country have no interest whatsoever in petty point scoring and one-upmanship.
I wish from the bottom of my heart that newspaper owners would understand that newspapers in their printed form alone are not the future and rather learn to use their content production, brands and aggregation skills to ensure that consumers have access to their wares via several platforms.
I wish all media would finally grasp the premise that the key to content is not contained in what they have to say but in what the consumer wants to hear.
I wish, most sincerely, the mass media would engage with their advertisers to try and ensure commercial messages are well considered. Right now, 20% of all advertising does not work and the reason for this is a combination of media apathy for getting involved and ad industry obsession with big ideas to the exclusion of everything else.
Around R50 billion is wasted on bad marketing decisions every year in South Africa.
I wish more advertisers and marketers would buy themselves the new DStv Explora PVR so they understand just how television advertising has to change.
I wish, but am not holding my breath, that the ANC dominated portfolio committee on communication finally wakes up to the fact that loading the SABC board with incompetent cadres is not going to help one bit in rescuing the national broadcaster. Or tuning it into something that more South Africans will turn to watching instead if just plain turning it off.
I wish advertisers and marketers would realise in 2014 that radio is one of the most powerful advertising media on earth. Of course, those involved in producing radio commercials don’t make nearly as much profit as those who create TV ads, but the return on investment is massive by comparison.
I wish, as I have done every year for four decades, that radio stations don’t just greedily accept sub-standard advertising as they do right now. I wish they would realise that an ad that gets up a listener’s nose also puts that listener off the station as well. The amount of utter rubbish on our radio stations is in the majority by a long way.
But most if all, I wish our governing party would realise that media freedom is an asset and not a liability. I wish politicians would accept that, like showbiz celebrities, they are public figures and will get picked on, booed and misquoted by the media. Suing the media and then eventually dropping the charges is stupid, time wasting and silly.
I wish politicians would learn from history that muzzling the media only works in countries that are not democracies.
Having said that, I really, really, really, wish that newspapers particularly, would take the time to check their facts because the cock-ups that continue to occur simply increase public acceptance of media regulation.
I wish both my remaining friends in the media a wonderful festive season and prosperous New Year.
Follow Chris Moerdyk on Twitter @chrismoerdyk
IMAGE: Wikimedia Creative Commons
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