OPINION: The media vs Laurel Papworth

While I’m sure she’s a very nice person (I once chaired a PR panel she was on and she seemed entirely human), so-called digital evangelist Laurel Papworth really grates my cheese. And not in a good way.

It’s that snide use of the phrase “heritage media”. You have to hear it come out of her mouth to feel the full contempt she appears to have for things non-digital. She takes another pop  on her site.

Her usual argument is that the established media, whether print or broadcast, is stuck in its ways, ignorant of the new and doomed, doomed, doomed…

And there is a certain type of digerati who really winds me up. So obsessed are they with the new, that they refuse to accept the possibility that anything that went before has any value. Don’t Twitter? Then you’re a muppet. What do you mean you haven’t been on People Browsr yet? It’s been available in beta for nearly a fortnight – what are you thinking?

 Today Laurel’s complaint is that there was a vast old media conspiracy to avoid covering her jaunt to the Middle East:

I had a poke at Australian media for ignoring my trip to Saudi Arabia to teach Arabic women about social media. Waste of time really, we know that social media is in direct competition with heritage media.

Yes, Laurel, I’m sure that’s why you weren’t on the front page of all the newspapers. It’s a plot to deny bloggers like you the oxygen of publicity. Not a news judgement about the level of interest Australians would have in the trip.

But the main thing that bugs me (and yes, I come from a print background) is the denial of human behaviour. Consumers use every form of media. Print and TV may change, but it’s not gonna die.

I’ve a feeling that in a few years, Laurel’s heritage media pronouncements will look about as visionary as the people who predicted that television would kill radio.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.