Connections between mainstream media and steel mills

Mainstream media could learn some lessons from the steel industry
Stephen Baker

Reading Jeff Jarvis on media deflation, my thoughts turn to other industries facing the similar straits. One is airlines. Another is steel, an industry I used to cover. Two decades ago, the big steel companies faced a challenge from upstart minimills. Big Steel had high costs, age-old traditions, and they made their metal in blast furnaces that were so expensive that none have been built in this country since the '70s. The minimills, by contrast, melted scrap. Big Steel, much like big media, argued that they produced higher quality. What's more, while they created steel, the minimills only recycled it. The minimills couldn't exist without them. This is much the same gripe that you hear in mainstream media: Bloggers feed off our reporting.

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