Skip to comments.Why Big Cities Make Media Liberal—and Why the Koch Brothers Can't Do Anything About It
Posted on 04/25/2013 12:46:31 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
On Sunday, the New York Times reported that the Koch brothers -- yes, those Koch brothers, of dumping mad cash into elections fame -- are considering buying the Tribune network of newspapers in a bid to establish a pro-business conservative media chain.
Well, good luck with that.
There are several reasons regional newspapers are an awkward fit for anyone looking to counter-program what they see as liberal bias in the news media.
The main reason is that all major U.S. newspapers are based in cities. Cities in America are in the main run by Democrats, because they are populated, by and large, with Democrats, and very often also surrounded by Democratic suburbs. And because cities are run by Democrats, and populated by not only by Democrats but, very often, by liberal, minority, and immigrant Democrats, they tend to have laws on the books that at least formally signal a desire to serve the interests of these voting groups -- their residents, let's call them.
Newspapers, which are businesses, are subject to the employment and other laws of the cities in which they are based. Because they are based in cities, and because cities are often at the forefront of progressive legislating, newspapers tend to work under employment laws and answer to regional communities that have distinctive views about what a just society looks like. Conservatives are right to call these views liberal, but it's just as important to recognize them as the product of representative democracy within defined urban spaces (see Richard Florida for more on what it is that causes cities to vote Democratic).
Newspapers, like other businesses, have to follow the local laws -- such as those protecting out gay employees -- or risk getting sued. And, historically, they had to appeal to urban or urbanizing local residents
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
” The Atlantic”.....nothing to see here.
Are urban media liberal, because they’re in urban areas; or, are urban areas liberal, because they have a liberal media?
i guess their grasp of their demographic ensures growth and prosperity for years to come...wait they are losing money? even here in Mississippi the NY Times was read fairly commonly, until it became devoid of news content and fair commentary. they will never learn
If they took control of the editing, only the stories, or the complete stories he/she/it approve would make it. All others get a do-over until some idiot figures it out.
I see the assumption made by the author the Koch brothers would walk into a newspaper office and say “OK, all gays, blacks and women, get out!” Uh, the liberal laws you say would keep Koch from buying the papers exist *everywhere* and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Kochs may have heard of one or two of them.
I hope the progs keep this attitude, because when the Kochs succeed in getting some papers, half of the undesirables are going to keel over with heart attacks anyway.
If they want to invest wisely in fighting the leftist propaganda machine, start buying cable assets. Cable or satellite gets out of those commie armpit cities and draws from a wider segment of the nation while still getting a potential share of those city dwellers who still have some brains left.
The author ignores Fox News, which I would describe as mildly liberal rather than conservative. It regularly trumps all the other liberal networks because it does attempt to give a balanced perspective. I think that readers are desperate for that balanced perspective, but we’re fed on pure liberalism.
As a selling author I pitched a political column to my local paper, “The Tallahassee Democrat.” I was told that only actual newspaper employees could be trusted to report politics because only they understood it. Really.
The Democrat has been on a circulation slide for decades. It was really bad when they had a black, female lead editor who regularly spewed white hatred; albeit in coded forms conservatives were not supposed to understand. Hardly a week went by when there wasn’t a retrospective on the black city (Rosewood, if I recall) that was wiped out by the KKK in the ‘20’s.
Along with losing its upper middle class white demographic it alienated the city’s blacks from their white neighbors and produced what many of us called “The Tallahassee ‘tude.”
I believe the paper has been sold at least twice, but they have never corrected the basic problem, which is that the paper’s staff is 100% ideologically Marxist.
Urban areas tend to more collectivist. Politically, the people tend to focus on things that are related to lots of folks living together in a confined space. More collectivist mindset = more liberal. Influential conservative papers in urban areas would be great because it might help to mitigate the liberalism to some degree.
What a crock!
Fear, this article is rank with it. I can almost smell the desperate prayers to Gaia from this article. “Please Earth Mother, don’t let the Koch brothers buy the Tribune group..!”
The auteur forgets that virtually all the READERS of the newspapers printed in the cities live in the SUBURBS! That’s why the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, etc. are going down the wormhole; the suburbanites see the total disconnect between what is printed and what is actually news. It may have something to do with urban education and journalism degrees of the reporters (sic)!
Gullible big spenders are liberals and that’s what advertisers want.
So big media will always be liberal.
“You tell me whar a man gits his corn pone, en I’ll tell you what his ‘pinions is. ...”
Physical newspapers are going the way of fish wrap. If they are buying these papers they are buying their names for online applications that aren’t tied to the old printing and distribution cost considerations.
Yeah, it just stands to reason that people who voluntarily cluster up together would be more collectivist than individualist, and therefore would be more leftist than conservative.
The Des Moines (Iowa) Register’s President and Publisher Laura Hollingsworth, and Vice President and Managing Editor Rick Green were presented as being NOT the usual simpleton libs. They even overturned the Register’s long record of supporting Democrats.
But the merry band of reporters and editors have become even more outrageous, crossing the line from liberalism to Stalinist-Leninist apparatchiks. No peep from those in charge, and none expected.
Is that the stated intent of the Koch brothers, or just a liberal's assumption (seeing as how that's exactly what libs did with education).
Could be. But 1) even the suburbs of Chicago and Los Angeles are pretty liberal nowadays, and 2) newspapers know how to draw in yuppie types in the cities (more or less) and how to sell to them. Suburbanites, who don't need all that art and restaurant coverage are a harder sell. What can print give them that the Internet can't?
The problem with urban areas is the cost of living is extraordinarily high. Made so in no small part by their leftist politics. The sad thing is its all unnecessary with modern information technology, more and more of the “informed class” should not have to commute at all and should be able to live almost anywhere they want.
I think the reason we been seeing urbanization is the cost of energy and the youthful desire for night life, as well as the limit fruits of urban renewal after urban collapse.
The point is if the author is right this renewal will be short lived as leftist politics again drive the city into self-destructive corruption and with it the population out to the subbergs (or with respect to new communication technology) the country side.
Some advertisers sell very few big ticket items; those would be looking for a more rich elitist liberal base.
Other advertisers sell a plethora of low-priced items. They would be targeting a more lower to middle class base.
A newspaper that wants to survive in the real world always has the option of depending on the latter type of advertising and not the former.
College students are not rich, but there's a reason so many businesses set up in college towns--because, as a group, even poverty-stricken college kids have a lot of money.
I don’t think there is anything inevitable about newspapers (or any media) being liberal.
We only have to understand that McCarthy was right—there was a major effort to place communists in key places in our media. Those original communists are probably gone, but the staffs on hand were selected and trained by them. Want a more balanced/conservative media? The owners of the newspaper can set up an editorial board who will send any articles back for rewrites if they show bias. They can instruct reporters to cover the stories the liberal media typically shoves into the back pages, and move those stories to the front. Any staff that can’t manage to write unbiased stories can be replaced. There are plenty of ways to fight back, for someone determined to turn a newspaper around.
I live in a small city. I would love to be able to subscribe to a very conservative physical news paper to hold in my hand, to read at the coffee shop and to spoon feed me the conservative bent on news and events. I would pay for that.
I would like to have a newspaper tell me the skin color of perps committing crimes instead of making me assume they are black and hispanic when they refuse to mention it.
I would like to have a newpaper that accurately calls terrorists, “Islamic terrorists”.
I would love to have a newpaper that would reveal the dirty little secrets of both Democrat and Republican politicians.
It will never happen.
I do hope the Koch brothers buy up some papers. We really need news from the conservative viewpoint, whether the subscription is paper or for a tablet.
This has the MSM absolutely terrified. They are terrified of losing their monopoly over the propaganda trade. TERRIFIED.
We need to organize demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of the Koch brothers.
There are successful conservative newspapers in cities, but they are usually the scrappy local underdogs to the big mainstream dailies bought by the plurality of the regional paper-buying population. Think: The Boston Herald (conservative) versus The Boston Globe. The New York Post (conservative) versus the New York Times and Daily News. The Washington Times (conservative) versus the Washington Post.
The Koch brothers could try to make the Los Angeles Times or the Baltimore Sun more appealing to a different intellectual community. But if they were to buy the papers and push their newsrooms in a more conservative direction, I suspect they would see an increase in the pace at which the geographic communities that once sustained the publications abandon them.
She's saying they'd lose the giant share of the Times circulation if they took it rightward and wouldn't find enough new readers to make up for that.
She's wrong if she thinks it's about minorities and immigrants, though. It's the well-off, largely White liberal audience that supports the papers and the papers cater to.
In places like New York and Los Angeles, the well-to-do trendy types advertisers look for are overwhelmingly liberal.
The relevance here is that if the LA Times loses the the affluent yuppie types retailers target its circulation and profits go down, and increased circulation among Los Angeles's remaining conservatives won't compensate for those financial losses.
The Times still turns a profit now (barely). If the Kochs take it in a conservative direction there's no guarantee that it would better the paper's financial condition, given what LA has become, and they'd have to make good the losses. But who knows? If you have the money, you can take the risk.
The Kochs could influence Times readers in subtle ways, making them more open to libertarian thinking while not challenging their lifestyle choices. That may be what LA progressives fear. If it plays out that way, the results would be a mixed bag for traditional conservatives: more libertarian sentiment in economics, but also less support for traditional social values.