Alternative media offer a diversity of views and ideas that are not commonly conveyed by the various for-profit media products or information services. They cover traditional media formats, such as books, newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and movies, as well as non-traditional forms considered “new” (online magazines, podcasts, and other virtual publications). Some definitions include street theater, mural painting, signage, and cultural scrambling.
The year 2019 is coming to an end, and this means that it is time to analyze its results and look forward to the New Year. During 2019, the alternative media industry experienced numerous ups and downs, from a reduction in the number of journalists to an increase in paid services. Want to know what 2020 is preparing for the alternative media industry?
2020 should be as the year when alternative media have, on many occasions, taken precedence over traditional media. 2020 should be as the year when alternative channels of information took over the conventional media.
Here, we are describing three reasons why we should consume more alternative media in 2020 –
Alternative news blogs are more active than in the past
A large part of the news blogs were “dead” pages due to the low activity on the site. Administrators rarely update. With the rise of the internet, the revival of alternative news sites increases competition with institutional media. The phase of dormant blogs and very rarely fed begins to fossilize in favor of a craze for the mobilization and updating of data.
The development of information and communication technologies and the popularization of digital techniques have raised the use of alternative media higher. With the aim of feeding the appetites of passionate readers and fueling debates on the web, these alternative news blogs are gaining ground to the dismay of an institutional press anchored in the conformism of ethics and professional conduct. The quick and easy use of smartphones, tablets, and other connected mobiles is a staple for the proliferation and prosperity of alternative media.
Defense of democracy
These alternative media, be it the newspaper, the radio, television, the website, etc., have one thing in common, which is the defense of democracy and listening to the citizen. They give voice to the actors of change, civil society, unions, workers, peasants, etc. All over the world, these media have played an essential role in raising public awareness. They are at the center of the success of social movements.
It is important to emphasize that in different opportunities, the alternative and communal media give tribune to those who do not have the opportunity to express themselves. It is that not always the political or social instances offer people and citizens the opportunity to express themselves, be understood as forms of acceptance or rejection of the different situations to which they are exposed. Alternative media are generally in the hands of independent people, who are not necessarily marked by a defined political trend and who do not receive resources from political entities.
Financing and business model
The alternative media are, for the most part, in a precarious financial situation. Due to limited coverage and capacities, they make little economies of scale. In the case of so-called traditional media, such as print or television, the size and demographics of the alternative media audience are often overlooked, making it difficult to sell advertising and subscriptions. Due to economic difficulties, release dates are irregular, and distribution is inadequate, further compounding the problems. Besides, there is very little government infrastructure that supports these traditional format alternative media. Regulations requiring cable operators to provide a community channel and contribute to its funding have been relaxed.
Posting videos, articles, or podcasts allows independent media companies to gather detailed information about the demographics of their audiences. In addition, online funding platforms offer the possibility for alternative media to generate income through one-time donations, usually to finance a new project or initiative, or by means of small but regular donations. These funding platforms and methods are used by both for-profit and non-profit media companies.
Alternative media are usually driven by goals other than profit. They work to convey a range of ideas or opinions that are rarely found in the commercial press or to defend the interests of a particular community or group, which are poorly represented in the main commercial media. Alternative media must communicate better with each other, capitalize on their experiences, their progress, and, above all, demonstrate more consistency between their practices and the behaviors they defend.