I came across a cute story the other day in the Hamilton Spectator. Cute because it was about an animal rescue, important because it highlighted how much trouble traditional media is in, in terms of its survival in an internet enabled world.
The initial story is how this gal goes shopping at a plaza, and when she returns to her car, it’s gone with her dog in the back seat: Holy dog-napping batman.
This where things get interesting. The dog has a GPS tracking system built into his collar, so Mon calls dad who has the tracking software installed on his system, and they are able to locate both the car and the dog, or so you would think.
Close but no cigar. Because the car and dog were stolen in Hamilton, drove through several regions and eventually ended up at the Six Nations near Branford, there is a question as to has jurisdiction and the responsibility to collar the bad guys.
In my mind’s eye is see a combination of the Keystone Cops meet Dudley Do-right of the Mounties, with possibly a dash of Mr. Magoo thrown in for more confusion.
The story does have a happy ending. Mom calls junior who hops into his car, connects with the local police where the car was tracked to, starts a search for the stolen car, and eventually finds it in a wooded area with Fido patiently waiting in the back seat. Dog is fine, the car has some damage from the adventure, but basically, the escapade is over… almost.
The story is picked up by Hamilton Spectator, but mom makes it clear that she doesn’t not want to be identified. I mean after all, she’s just been through a very traumatic event, and who needs all the attention that a story would bring, and no doubt questions about why she would leave a dog in her car while shopping at the mall, to say nothing of the questions that would be raised as to why the cops couldn’t jump on this crime quickly and possibly apprehend the crooks.
Anyway, the newspaper decides to kill the story because they feel that running too many stories with unidentified names and sources would hurt their credibility. Poor babies. Too much news to print. Hey team, have a look over your shoulder. The huge massive onslaught coming up behind you is called the internet where every man, woman and child on the planet is rapidly being empowered to find and report on all sorts of news stories. The time is at hand where traditional media has to expand and adjust to tailor their content to reflect the presence and potential of the internet. Think not? Another story in the same paper was how the Toronto Star just laid off three hundred workers to remain financially competitive.
Obviously some rational intelligence at the Spectator did see a way to get this story in print, so maybe there is still some hope for the print media.