Skip to comments.As newspapers struggle, change brings pain
Posted on 12/06/2008 11:14:42 AM PST by Zakeet
This story is a two box of tissues classic about the woes presently facing the main stream media.
Unfortunately, the Tallahassee Democrat is owned by Gannett, hence we can even excerpt the article.
However, you can read this heart rendering tale of misery by clicking HERE.
Newspapers have always been held in contempt by those who confuse our mix of information and opinions as promoting an agenda ...
Newspapers are held in contempt by those who (1) CAN READ and (2) have an IQ over 65. Agenda? They have ONLY ONE agenda. And the above criteria are more than sufficient to immediately see what the agenda is.....this was not even a good try at lying, as usual.
Gathering and delivering facts is easy. Gathering and delivering propaganda, however, is a craft.
I hate it when someone renders my heart.
So . . . make a new business model. Start with honest news. Not biased.
Here’s another line of hooey from this article:
“Common wisdom holds that the Internet is killing newspapers.”
The common wisdom is wrong. I know this from the inside, since the sad truth is that I spent 15 years of my young adulthood writing and editing newspapers. I could see the death of the print media in 1995, when I decided to jump ship, and the Internet was barely a ripple at that time.
The death of the media comes from something called “advocacy journalism.” This kind of writing is best shown by Hunter Thompson in his “Fear and Loathing...” writings, in which the reporter and his sources intermingle in an entertaining and enlightening manner. Unfortunately, the advocacy quickly became leftist cant, and we have the results we have today.
When I started in the business, newspapers were filled with curmudgeonly old men who loved their community and loved the country. My first bosses were like that. You could open the paper and get an instant feel for the community, its people, and its local culture. The paper was the face that the town showed the world. During my time, the viewpoint changed into advocacy, so now newspapers only reflect themselves and their leftwing ideology. By the way, in my opinion, that’s the reason for the ascendency of conservative talk radio, which provided advocacy of a different sort, and mirrors the print media in that every town and city has Rush and Sean - and every town and city has a leftwing print paper.
The community became lost. I used to love reading the paper, but when it became clear that the news was interchangeable from paper to paper, I stopped reading newsprint and went online.
Looking back, I’m glad I jumped ship when I did instead of being a 52-year-old reporter in a dying business. I miss the paper on Sunday morning, though.
I hear you, but I won't buy that @#$%## Commie rag again. I wouldn't buy a copy of it to save my mother from burning to death. I would stand and watch the editors' children slowly starve to death rather than buy that POS. They will NEVER get another dime of my money, because of their lies and propaganda. The sooner the local paper dies, the better.
Well, that confusion is keeping me from purchasing Gannett products. Weeping and knashing of teeth. Hopefully, they can get a job with BO’s administration in the Ministry of Information or with the Clinton Global Initiative.
Can’t see where the skill set would be useful anywhere else.
The paper was the face that the town showed the world. During my time, the viewpoint changed into advocacy, so now newspapers only reflect themselves and their leftwing ideology. By the way, in my opinion, thats the reason for the ascendency of conservative talk radio, which provided advocacy of a different sort, and mirrors the print media in that every town and city has Rush and Sean - and every town and city has a leftwing print paper.
You will know, of course, from your journalism studies in college, what I am astonished that it took me 30 years of interest in the subject to realize. Namely, that the reason that the newspapers changed from the opinion journals with news of the founding era, to the news journals with segregated "editorial page" opinion is simply the Associated Press.
Early newspapers were inevitably about the opinions of their printers, since "newspapers" of that era had no source of news to which the general public could not be privy as soon or sooner than the printer learned it. So "newspapers" of the founding era were usually weeklies rather than dailies. Throw in the fact that the rules of journalism - "If it bleeds, it leads," "Man Bites Dog, not Dog Bites Man," and so forth - actually seem to be objective from the self-interested perspective of the journalist. The fallacy in that perspective being that journalism is not the definition of the public interest. Journalism as we know it is a creature of the mid-Nineteenth Century, and the public interest existed before JAWKI, and will exist after it if - as conservatives have every reason to fondly hope - JAWKI passes from the scene.
Conservatives have every reason to fondly hope that JAWKI passes from the scene, for the simple reason that JAWI is inherently anti conservative. A claim which, IMHO, this thread fully vindicates.
Great comments. What we were taught back in journalism school was that reporters and editors were the “gatekeepers” of knowledge, and it was their decisions about what to publish and what not to publish which determined “the public interest.”
Of course, this was also predicated on the ideal of “objectivity,” which none of us have (least of all myself).
I remember one seminar in which Fred Friendly, the former news head at CBS, was talking to us students about reporting the news. (He told us about the famous “lighting the huts on fire” story from Vietnam, too.) Anyway, some slip of a girl in the back asks him, “What about objectivity?”
Fred was an overweight guy and sounded like he was from New York, so he came rolling to the back of the room and loomed over this poor girl. He said, “Let’s see. You’re in the state prison with the child rapist murderer doing an interview. You’re objective about that?” She said nothing. He leaned over and said in a louder voice, “So you’re objective about someone who rapes and kills children?” She melted into her seat.
Then Friendly turned around and said, “Objectivity is bullsh*t. But you can always be fair and accurate.”
Sounds like Fox News is in that tradition. Poor CBS, though, is now at the level of “The Onion,” although “The Onion” is intentionally funny.
Still, Mr. Conservatism_is_Compassion, you’ve got the right idea. The modern news media, especially in the past 70 years, considers themselves to be the elite who dispense information to the rest of us. Look at the writings of Walter Lippmann about the “gatekeeper” ideal and the notion of journalism being a “professional class.”
During the time of the Founders, though, what we they called journalism was really opinion and commentary. No expectation was made that there was an “objective” viewpoint. Their ideal was that many voices would speak and write, and then the citizen would make up their own mind.
Once I was the editor of a newspaper. At the bottom of the editorial I published a little history column with quotes from the papers of 90 years ago (which would have been 1899 and 1900 at the time). There were three papers in town - the Republican paper, the Democrat paper, and the Populist paper. All three were wildly inflammatory. They always targeted each other. Circulation was almost 100 percent for all three papers; it was not just news, it was entertainment. People read the stuff knowing the bias up front - the same way I listen to Rush and Savage - and made up their own minds.
Liberty is cool that way. You have the right to speak your mind. I have the right to tell you to go to hell. Sadly, those values are being replaced by other, more pernicious values, like the Stalinist trial Mark Steyn had to recently go through in Canada.
Nice comments, Conservatism_is_Compassion. Have a great weekend.
Then newspapers began crafting guidelines on what could be printed (i.e. conservative letters were a no-no) and limited the number of words. I'm sorry, but a good writer like me needs more than 100 words to explain my position, and no, I don't want to see my letter buried underneath the lingerie ad.
So people started going elsewhere, on blogs and websites where you can write to your heart's content without ancient gatekeepers in print media. And that's one of the reasons why print media is dying.
...As I read the article, the only thing I could think of is one less Liberal Rag killing trees.
Fantastic good news treat! Thanks for posting.
Sure, I hope these Democrat newsrooms suffer plenty of pain, but more than that I want them to just hurry up and die. They and their party have done enough damage to America, thank you.
Of course, this was also predicated on the ideal of objectivity, which none of us have (least of all myself).
I have been unable to put my finger on the exact distinction to be made between a claim of "objectivity" and a claim of wisdom. And of course if you research "wisdom" in the etymological dictionary, you find the meanings of the terms "sophist" and "philosopher" are relevant, as follows:sophist1542, earlier sophister (c.1380), from L. sophista, sophistes, from Gk. sophistes, from sophizesthai "to become wise or learned," from sophos "wise, clever," of unknown origin. Gk. sophistes came to mean "one who gives intellectual instruction for pay," and, contrasted with "philosopher," it became a term of contempt. Ancient sophists were famous for their clever, specious arguments.philosopherWhich is my explanation of the fact that the person who claims to be most objective always seems to be farthest from it.O.E. philosophe, from L. philosophus, from Gk. philosophos "philosopher," lit. "lover of wisdom," from philos "loving" + sophos "wise, a sage."
"Pythagoras was the first who called himself philosophos, instead of sophos, 'wise man,' since this latter term was suggestive of immodesty." [Klein]
Modern form with -r appears c.1325, from an Anglo-Fr. or O.Fr. variant of philosophe, with an agent-noun ending. . . .
It seems to me that the Associated Press motivates and enables a mutual admiration society among journalists which makes it taboo for one journalist to question the "objectivity" - whatever that word is supposed to mean - of another journalist. It seems to me as well that journalism as we know it systematically corrupts the language, changing or inverting the meaning of words and instituting new and deceptive words.
In the 1920s journalism (or somebody - and who else but journalism was in a position to do it?) inverted the meaning of "liberalism" from opposition to increased government regulation and high taxes to advocacy of those very things. "Liberals" (actually socialists) systematically use euphenisms for government such as "public" or "society." A "public" school is actually a government school, and when a "liberal" says that "society" should do some thing s/he means nothing other than that the government should do it. And yet society and government are not the same unless there is (or unless there should be) no such thing as individual freedom. When "liberals" use euphemisms for government, AP journalism is never slow to adopt the usages "liberals" prefer.
Associated Press journalism calls itself "the press," insinuating that "the freedom of . . . the press" mandated by the First Amendment confers privileges on Associated Press journalism exclusively and does not refer to the right of the people to spend their own money for the use of technology to promote their own opinions.
AP journalism created "Swift Boating" and "McCarthyism," two words which connote the same thing. Both connote AP journalism's preferred image that criticism of Democrats (at least, criticism from the right) is illegitimate. Each word seemingly denotes an objective reality, but one which cannot bear close scrutiny. But as long as AP journalism controls the debate the fact that the words are double smears - smears of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth or of Senator Joseph McCarthy, as well as whoever is tarred with association with the image which AP journalism has created of McCarthy and of the SBVT- is not allowed into the conversation.
And did you know that the Associated Press was aggressively monopolistic from its inception, and that in 1945 it was held by SCOTUS to be in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act?
See this pertinent quote which I think is applicable. Carr is a NY Times columnist.
"I was taught when I was a young reporter that it's news when we say it is. I think that's still true -- it's news when 'we' say it is. It's just who 'we' is has changed"
David Carr (b. 1956), US Journalist. CNN "Reliable Sources", Sunday, August 10, 2008.
.......the elite who dispense information to the rest of us. ......
I think that a more accurate statement would replace the word dispense with the word ration.
You're right - it's a big part of the failure. Many years ago I ran into the effects and unintended consequences of advocacy journalism. I was at a party in another city - most of the people at the party were police captains, fire chiefs, and up. During the party I got a call from a friend - a news writer - who called to say a person had been fired for making up a quotes. I don't remember all the details, but this person was fired while on assignment. It was an ethical decision by an honorable paper. I mentioned it to my host in passing as he was concerned about the late phone call and wanted to know if everything was OK.
Then the odd effect. He mentioned it to one person and in short order the word had spread through the room. And people started coming up to me - to tell their stories. Stories about quotes made up and facts twisted to fit preconceived positions of reporters. They spoke of frustration, disappointment, and a lack of trust. And each had an example - some funny - some tragic - of truth twisted to "fit" and how they felt reading quotes of words they had never said. And in some cases the opposite of what they felt. It was sad. But they also spoke of the hunger to live in a city where a reporter could be fired for making up quotes.
Look for the Rocky Mountain (Spotted) News to do this rather quickly. Ditto the Miami Herald.
The money is running out very, very fast.
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