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Bad News (NYT Ruminates on the MSM, blogs, and bias)
The New York Times ^ | July 31, 2005 | Richard Posner

Posted on 07/29/2005 4:08:18 PM PDT by Dont Mention the War

July 31, 2005

Bad News

By RICHARD A. POSNER

THE conventional news media are embattled. Attacked by both left and right in book after book, rocked by scandals, challenged by upstart bloggers, they have become a focus of controversy and concern. Their audience is in decline, their credibility with the public in shreds. In a recent poll conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, 65 percent of the respondents thought that most news organizations, if they discover they've made a mistake, try to ignore it or cover it up, and 79 percent opined that a media company would hesitate to carry negative stories about a corporation from which it received substantial advertising revenues.

The industry's critics agree that the function of the news is to inform people about social, political, cultural, ethical and economic issues so that they can vote and otherwise express themselves as responsible citizens. They agree on the related point that journalism is a profession rather than just a trade and therefore that journalists and their employers must not allow profit considerations to dominate, but must acknowledge an ethical duty to report the news accurately, soberly, without bias, reserving the expression of political preferences for the editorial page and its radio and television counterparts. The critics further agree, as they must, that 30 years ago news reporting was dominated by newspapers and by television network news and that the audiences for these media have declined with the rise of competing sources, notably cable television and the Web.

The audience decline is potentially fatal for newspapers. Not only has their daily readership dropped from 52.6 percent of adults in 1990 to 37.5 percent in 2000, but the drop is much steeper in the 20-to-49-year-old cohort, a generation that is much more comfortable with electronic media in general and the Web in particular...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: liberalmedia; msm; newyorktimes; nyt
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Richard A. Posner is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School and, along with the economist Gary Becker, the author of The Becker-Posner Blog.
1 posted on 07/29/2005 4:08:19 PM PDT by Dont Mention the War
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To: All

Note to all: This is a very long thumb-sucker.


2 posted on 07/29/2005 4:09:00 PM PDT by Dont Mention the War (John Bolton for White House Press Secretary!)
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To: Dont Mention the War

Bump for later read.


3 posted on 07/29/2005 4:13:10 PM PDT by randog (What the....?!)
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To: Timesink; martin_fierro; reformed_democrat; Loyalist; =Intervention=; PianoMan; GOPJ; ...

media Schadenfreude ping


4 posted on 07/29/2005 4:14:42 PM PDT by Dont Mention the War (John Bolton for White House Press Secretary!)
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To: Dont Mention the War

As the comet nears impact, the MSM dinosaurs throw up clouds of print and verbiage, hoping to forestall extinction....


5 posted on 07/29/2005 4:17:25 PM PDT by abb (Because News Reporting is too important to be left to the Journalists.)
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To: Dont Mention the War

In essence it's the fault of conservatives that the liberal media has swung further left, because conservatives are drawing attention to their slanted liberal bias in "news stories."

"Stories" being the operative word here. News is supposed to provide information, fact - the who what where why when and analysis; not a "story" from the "journalist" perspective.

Editorializing and narrative has become the mode of choice in every section of the daily papers, including sports.

Note that in this piece states: "...Not only has their daily readership dropped from 52.6 percent of adults in 1990 to 37.5 percent in 2000, but the drop is much steeper in the 20-to-49-year-old cohort, a generation that is... much more comfortable with electronic media in general and the Web in particular..."

From 52.6 percent in 1990 to 37.5 in the year 2000. I wonder where it is now, five years and innumerable scandals later. If anyone knows please post!


6 posted on 07/29/2005 4:29:22 PM PDT by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: Dont Mention the War
"MSM Requiescat in fracta!"
7 posted on 07/29/2005 4:31:08 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (The civilized world must win WW IV/the Final Crusade and destroy Jihadism!)
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To: Dont Mention the War

"The audience decline is potentially fatal for newspapers..."

I can't wait for the end.


8 posted on 07/29/2005 4:31:46 PM PDT by Cautor
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To: meema

Check out this blog.


9 posted on 07/29/2005 4:32:36 PM PDT by meema
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To: abb
"As the comet nears impact, the MSM dinosaurs throw up clouds of print and verbiage, hoping to forestall extinction...."


10 posted on 07/29/2005 4:33:06 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (The civilized world must win WW IV/the Final Crusade and destroy Jihadism!)
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To: Dont Mention the War

Here is the key passage, explaining why the Internet is so powerful and why the MSM doesn't know how to react:

"The charge by mainstream journalists that blogging lacks checks and balances is obtuse. The blogosphere has more checks and balances than the conventional media; only they are different. The model is Friedrich Hayek's classic analysis of how the economic market pools enormous quantities of information efficiently despite its decentralized character, its lack of a master coordinator or regulator, and the very limited knowledge possessed by each of its participants.

"In effect, the blogosphere is a collective enterprise - not 12 million separate enterprises, but one enterprise with 12 million reporters, feature writers and editorialists, yet with almost no costs. It's as if The Associated Press or Reuters had millions of reporters, many of them experts, all working with no salary for free newspapers that carried no advertising.

"How can the conventional news media hope to compete? Especially when the competition is not entirely fair. The bloggers are parasitical on the conventional media. They copy the news and opinion generated by the conventional media, often at considerable expense, without picking up any of the tab. The degree of parasitism is striking in the case of those blogs that provide their readers with links to newspaper articles. The links enable the audience to read the articles without buying the newspaper. The legitimate gripe of the conventional media is not that bloggers undermine the overall accuracy of news reporting, but that they are free riders who may in the long run undermine the ability of the conventional media to finance the very reporting on which bloggers depend.


11 posted on 07/29/2005 4:34:08 PM PDT by proxy_user
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To: Dont Mention the War
Conservatives were unembarrassed by the errors of the Swift Boat veterans...
Name three errors (if you can).

Crickets...

It took CBS so long to acknowledge Dan Rather's mistake because there are so many people involved in the production and supervision of a program like ''60 Minutes II'' who have to be consulted.
No, it took so long because they didn't dare to admit their bias that caused the 'mistake' in the first place.

You're right -- a major thumb-sucker.

12 posted on 07/29/2005 4:34:35 PM PDT by Bob
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To: Cautor

A month or so ago, Rush said he's been waiting all his life for this to happen. I have too. Makes me positively giddy to contemplate their demise...


13 posted on 07/29/2005 4:34:37 PM PDT by abb (Because News Reporting is too important to be left to the Journalists.)
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To: abb
"As the comet nears impact, the MSM dinosaurs throw up clouds of print and verbiage, hoping to forestall extinction...."


14 posted on 07/29/2005 4:35:43 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (The civilized world must win WW IV/the Final Crusade and destroy Jihadism!)
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To: abb

"Makes me positively giddy to contemplate their demise"

I agree completely. The only think keeping most newspapers afloat today--especially the big rags like NY Slimes, Washington Compost, LA Slimes etc.--is their ad revenue. As the merchants come to understand they're not reaching their demographic then the funding base for these propaganda mouth-pieces will head south fast. My own observation is that more and more merchants are putting ads in small, often free, weekly papers. The buzzards are indeed circling.


15 posted on 07/29/2005 4:45:18 PM PDT by Cautor
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To: abb; All
Can't wait for Rush to come back on Monday. He, Sean, Laura. Tony and most of the talkers all refer constantly to the new media. That is us, Internet forums like us, bloggers, talk radio and a very few newspapers that get it right.

Basically we scare the hell out of all of them. This is the first time ever they have been exposed and in a big way. Every time they screw up and do some biased piece of sh!t we point it out and they are caught with their hand once again in the cookie jar.

Just take this afternoon. Hannity blew their doors off showing how biased the media is by constantly doing over 200 stories about Roberts while hardly any were done about their aclu candidate(i forget her name) when bubba sent her up.

The double standard displays are getting worse and worse for them and eventually there will be fewer and fewer listeners until they finally are forced by network mgmt. seeking sponsors to come too the right with us.
They will do it begrudgingly but it will happen.
16 posted on 07/29/2005 4:46:42 PM PDT by rodguy911 (Time to get rid of the UN and the ACLU and all Mosques in the US,UK.)
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To: proxy_user

"they are free riders who may in the long run undermine the ability of the conventional media to finance the very reporting on which bloggers depend."

Riight. "Blogs" are causing this freefall in circulation, because links to newspaper articles means they're read for free. How many blogs existed, as of 2000, let alone 1990, to have caused this 15% or so decline? They're grasping at straws. The "parasitical" language implies to me that more agressive copyright protection is in the cards, as well as yet another attempt at paid subscription for "content." Not gonna work too terribly well this time, either; learn to make a go of it advertiser-supported, or continue the long slide into oblivion.


17 posted on 07/29/2005 4:50:39 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry (Esse Quam Videre)
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To: Cautor; All

should we start a pool for what year the NYT will cease paper edition publication?

I would say around 2010.


18 posted on 07/29/2005 4:54:52 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: Dont Mention the War

"Journalists express dismay that bottom-line pressures are reducing the quality of news coverage. What this actually means is that when competition is intense, providers of a service are forced to give the consumer what he or she wants, not what they, as proud professionals, think the consumer should want, or more bluntly, what they want."

Yep, the liberal MSM is ticked-off they lost their stranglehold on the media -- they're no longer the GateKeepers of the News.

Good article.


19 posted on 07/29/2005 5:02:00 PM PDT by NewMediaFan (Fake but accurate)
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To: Dont Mention the War
The industry's critics agree that the function of the news is to inform people about social, political, cultural, ethical and economic issues so that they can vote and otherwise express themselves as responsible citizens.


Wrong!

The purpose of newspapers, magazines, television is to sell advertisement.

To produce a product that will attract eyeballs to their pages, and hopefully expose their ads to potential buyers.

They do not make money on the subscriptions, they make money on advertisement.

Perhaps the reason they are in decline is because they have forgotten why they are in business.

Maybe they should rent that old Clark Gable moving "Teacher's Pet", in it, Gable plays a editor for the night edition of a major newspaper, and at one point he defines the purpose of a newspaper.

20 posted on 07/29/2005 5:02:29 PM PDT by CIB-173RDABN
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