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Venerable Newspapers Face Extinction
The Economist ^ | May 1, 2008 | Staff

Posted on 05/02/2008 11:58:18 AM PDT by freerepublic_or_die

The New York Times once epitomised all that was great about American newspapers; now it symbolises its industry’s deep malaise. The Grey Lady’s circulation is tumbling, down another 3.9% in the latest data from America’s Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). Its advertising revenues are down, too (12.5% lower in March than a year earlier), as is the share price of its owner, the New York Times Company, up from its January low but still over 20% below what it was last July. On Tuesday April 29th Standard & Poor’s cut the firm’s debt rating to one notch above junk.

At the company’s annual meeting a week earlier, its embattled publisher, Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger, attempted to quash rumours that his family is preparing to jettison the firm it has owned since 1896. Carnage is expected soon as dozens of what were once the safest jobs in journalism are axed, since too few of the staff have accepted a generous offer of voluntary redundancy.

Pick almost any American newspaper company and you can tell a similar story. The ABC reported that for the 530 biggest dailies, average circulation in the past six months was 3.6% lower than in the same period a year earlier; for Sunday papers, it was 4.6% lower. Ad revenues are plunging across the board: by 22.3% at Media General, for example. In 2007 total newspaper revenues fell to $42.2 billion, not to be sniffed at, certainly, but a lot less than the peak of $48.7 billion in 2000.

Much of this decline is being blamed on the rise of the internet, which offers free, round-the-clock coverage, and which has provided a new, better home for classified advertising, once the bedrock of most newspapers’ revenue.

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


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: deadtreemedia; dinosaurmedia; leftwingorgan; leonarddownie; liberalmedia; newspapers; nyt; nytobituary; tryreportingthenews
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That's all right. It's just means more toilet paper for the rest of us.
1 posted on 05/02/2008 11:58:18 AM PDT by freerepublic_or_die
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To: abb

Ping


2 posted on 05/02/2008 11:59:46 AM PDT by Enterprise ((Those who "betray us" also "Betray U.S." They're called DEMOCRATS!))
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To: freerepublic_or_die
Go tell Sulzberger
Go tell Sulzberger
Go tell Sulzberger
The Old Grey Lady's dead.
3 posted on 05/02/2008 12:02:24 PM PDT by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll.)
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To: theDentist

I can’t wait for the wake———(make this one an Irish wake)


4 posted on 05/02/2008 12:05:40 PM PDT by brooklyn dave
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To: freerepublic_or_die

Save the Trees!


5 posted on 05/02/2008 12:06:01 PM PDT by Netheron
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To: freerepublic_or_die
Can you sense the desperation in the MSM?


6 posted on 05/02/2008 12:06:31 PM PDT by Emperor Palpatine ("There is no civility, only politics.")
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To: freerepublic_or_die
too few of the staff have accepted a generous offer of voluntary redundancy

WTH is "voluntary redundancy"?

7 posted on 05/02/2008 12:07:42 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: freerepublic_or_die

qq


8 posted on 05/02/2008 12:08:25 PM PDT by Slapshot68
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To: freerepublic_or_die

SCHADENFREUDE!


9 posted on 05/02/2008 12:14:14 PM PDT by StAnDeliver
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To: All
...The New York Times once epitomised all that was great about American newspapers; now it symbolises its industry’s deep malaise...

V-E-N-E-R-A-B-L-E...? (chuckling :)

Now it 'epitomises' what the cancer of liberalism with its biases and agendas can do to just about anything. It destroys... event itself.

10 posted on 05/02/2008 12:15:05 PM PDT by ElPatriota (Duncan Hunter 08 -- I am proud to support this man for my president and may be Huck?.. Naah :))
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To: freerepublic_or_die
All this ink spilt and not a word about what is really troubling newspapers-- people who buy and read newspapers often have to work for a living. They are fed up with the transparent Marxist propoganda too many newspapers and uranilists are so devoted to spreading.

It is interesting that the two newspapers I still read with any regularity are both still making money.

The Wall Street Journal has a splendid editorial page and newswriters who actually do original research and write informative articles. Even though I disagree vehemently with its radical "Open borders" stance, I still must admit that it is engaging and informative.

The same can be said for our local Pittsburgh area paper. Editorially, it often slides into Ron Paul style libertarian moonbatry. But there is balance and evidence of work on this paper. If I find a Tribune-Review laying around, I'll actually read it. The lieberal counterpart Pittsburgh Post Gazette is good for little more than lining a bird cage.

11 posted on 05/02/2008 12:15:19 PM PDT by Vigilanteman ((Are there any men left in Washington? Or are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud))
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To: 04-Bravo; aimhigh; andyandval; Arizona Carolyn; backhoe; Bahbah; bert; bilhosty; Caipirabob; ...

ping


12 posted on 05/02/2008 12:15:27 PM PDT by abb (Organized Journalism: Marxist-style collectivism applied to information sharing)
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To: freerepublic_or_die

I for one would love to see Pinch standing on the street corner with a tin cup begging for quarters.

I really, really despise that leftist, commie, pinko, granola-loving, former hippie and limousine liberal.


13 posted on 05/02/2008 12:16:03 PM PDT by tom h
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To: Emperor Palpatine
GONE WITH THE WIND - 2008

"There was a land of Publishers and Editors called the Newspaper Business... Here in this pretty world Journalism took its last bow... Here was the last ever to be seen of Reporters and their Enablers, of Anonymous Sources and of Stringers... Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered. A Civilization Gone With the Wind..."

With apologies to Margaret Mitchell...

Oh, fiddlededee!

14 posted on 05/02/2008 12:16:42 PM PDT by abb (Organized Journalism: Marxist-style collectivism applied to information sharing)
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To: freerepublic_or_die
"Venerable Newspapers Face Extinction"

"The New York Times ... circulation is ... down another 3.9%; ... advertising revenues are down ... 12.5% [and] Standard & Poor’s cut the firm’s debt rating to one notch above junk."

"Industry experts such as Lauren Rich Fine of Kent State University do not think that the Times is responding forcefully enough. “Now is the time to beef up its business section,” she says. "

Watching the NY Times slowly sink is like watching a hated foe go down with his ship. What a pleasure.

As for the academic's comment, she is oblivious to one thing. I haven't paid a nickel for a NY Times for the past 20 years. Nor for the LA Times. Why? Because I never want to be a single tick in their circulation numbers. NOT ONE SINGLE TICK. I presume that there are at least another 100 million Americans who feel as I do, and hopefully our long boycott contributes to the drama we see unfolding.

15 posted on 05/02/2008 12:24:17 PM PDT by tom h
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To: Izzy Dunne
WTH is "voluntary redundancy"?

In English English, a/k/a Brit-Speak, a redundancy in this context is a layoff. A voluntary redundancy, basically, is what we would call accepting a buy-out offer, typically some kind of early retirement package or a lump sum payoff based on the number of years of employment.

16 posted on 05/02/2008 12:24:41 PM PDT by surely_you_jest (I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. - Will Rogers)
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To: freerepublic_or_die

http://sbdailysound.blogspot.com/2008/05/mccaw-hands-out-pink-slips.html

Thursday, May 1, 2008
McCaw hands out pink slips

BY COLBY FRAZIER
DAILY SOUND STAFF WRITER

In an action dubbed a “company wide reorganization,” the Santa Barbara News-Press laid off 10 employees yesterday, two of whom were editors.
An internal memo circulated to News-Press employees said the layoffs were the result of declines in circulation, advertising revenue, and a contentious labor dispute between current and former newsroom staff and the paper’s management.

snip


17 posted on 05/02/2008 12:24:42 PM PDT by abb (Organized Journalism: Marxist-style collectivism applied to information sharing)
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To: surely_you_jest

OK, thanks for the translation.


18 posted on 05/02/2008 12:25:42 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: abb

LOL!:)


19 posted on 05/02/2008 12:25:59 PM PDT by RoseofTexas
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To: freerepublic_or_die

Stock up on birdcage liner now while you still can. If I had a bird, I’d make sure it sh*t on nothing but the NY Slimes.


20 posted on 05/02/2008 12:28:01 PM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: abb
Frankly,

I COULDN'T GIVE A DAMN.

21 posted on 05/02/2008 12:28:37 PM PDT by freerepublic_or_die (Islam:Truly the opium of the morons.)
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To: Milhous; Grampa Dave

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2008/05/marine_putnam_050108w/

Famed boxing writer faked Korean War legacy

By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Friday May 2, 2008 9:44:55 EDT

As a widely admired boxing scribe at Sports Illustrated, the late Pat Putnam was known as someone who could spin a tale with the best, sharing the stories of all-time greats such as Muhammad Ali.

But Putnam didn’t just spin a tale about boxing. His own widely celebrated background as a Marine veteran and former Korean War prisoner of the Chinese — with four Purple Hearts and a Navy Cross — wasn’t true, Marine officials said Thursday.

Putnam, who died in 2005, does not exist in Marine Corps Archival Tapes, a list of Marine veterans that covers Corps history until about 1970. He also does not exist in any Marine medals databases, including one for the Navy Cross, the Corps’ second-highest military honor.

The revelation came just hours before the Boxing Writers Association of America was set to award the Pat Putnam Award at the association’s annual award dinner at the posh Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles.

The award, launched in 2005, honors perseverance in overcoming adversity. Previous honorees include Ali, honored in 2006 for his struggle with Parkinson’s Disease, and Izzy Burgos, a 2007 recipient who began an amateur boxing career at 12 in 2005.

snip


22 posted on 05/02/2008 12:38:55 PM PDT by abb (Organized Journalism: Marxist-style collectivism applied to information sharing)
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To: freerepublic_or_die

23 posted on 05/02/2008 12:42:39 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: surely_you_jest
In English English, a/k/a Brit-Speak

Thanks you for making it clear that by Brit-Speak, you were referring to Britain and not Britany Spears, otherwise I'd have been looking for the "y'all" at the end of every sentence.
24 posted on 05/02/2008 12:47:51 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: Paleo Conservative

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.


25 posted on 05/02/2008 12:50:33 PM PDT by freerepublic_or_die (Islam:Truly the opium of the morons.)
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To: freerepublic_or_die

Propagandists do not prosper


26 posted on 05/02/2008 1:15:43 PM PDT by Lexington Green (The Rev. Jeremiah Wright = Grand Wizard of the Klan-With-A-Tan)
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To: Vigilanteman

I agree. The dying papers are trying to blame their woes on the internet, but there are daily newspapers holding their own and some are even showing circulation growth. The key is Content. Here in Canada, the conservative National Post is doing quite well, as are the moderate Sun Media dailies. Meanwhile, the leftist Globe and Mail and Toronto Star are dying.


27 posted on 05/02/2008 1:18:12 PM PDT by Squawk 8888 (TSA and DHS are jobs programs for people who are not smart enough to flip burgers)
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To: Lexington Green

“Propagandists do not prosper”

For if propaganda doth prosper, none dare calls it propaganda.

(Sorry — couldn’t resist.)


28 posted on 05/02/2008 1:18:59 PM PDT by No Truce With Kings (The opinions expressed are mine! Mine! MINE! All Mine!)
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To: freerepublic_or_die
Venerable Newspapers Face Extinction

So do the NY Times, the Wash Post and the LA Times.

29 posted on 05/02/2008 1:27:40 PM PDT by Onelifetogive (This is an Obama-nation!)
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The venerable ones went extinct decades ago.


30 posted on 05/02/2008 1:45:43 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______________________Profile updated Monday, April 28, 2008)
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To: freerepublic_or_die

“Lady’s circulation is tumbling, down another 3.9% in the latest data from America’s Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). Its advertising revenues are down, too (12.5% lower in March than a year earlier),

I wonder how many people at the times still actually believe that there is something they can do that will turn the numbers around?


31 posted on 05/02/2008 1:46:34 PM PDT by TalBlack
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To: freerepublic_or_die

32 posted on 05/02/2008 1:48:56 PM PDT by Bon mots
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To: freerepublic_or_die
If the demise of newspapers meant that people will now be better informed, who could be against it? But that premise is untrue.

The population, especially the young, today is very poorly informed on all matters, especially national and international matters. They don't read much of anything except their call screens.

The “new media” is not utilized, for the most part, for enlightenment. Rather, it is utilized for entertainment and personal applications.

True, that the print media has itself to blame - particularly for ceasing to be a professional medium in which a truthful account of the day's news was sought with integrity and general professionalism.

News became “news analysis” in the 1970’s - reflecting the 60’s generation and the “investigative reporting” spotlight. News "analysis" on the news pages became nothing but opinion - usually skewed.

But anyone who has lived through the era up to the 1970’s knows that Americans used to be avid newspaper readers, that the papers were generally well-written, and that the readers were generally pretty well-informed about what was happening in the world.

The newspaper itself is not at fault, being actually something one can hold, save, and read in the subway. No thinking person should rejoice at the demise of the newspaper - whose obituary may be not as imminent as some think..

33 posted on 05/02/2008 2:17:28 PM PDT by mtntop3
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To: mtntop3
The population, especially the young, today is very poorly informed on all matters, especially national and international matters.

It is better to be poorly informed than ill informed.
34 posted on 05/02/2008 2:21:47 PM PDT by PA Engineer (Liberate America from the occupation media.)
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To: Izzy Dunne

Redundancy is a British labor term for being laid off. When you’re laid off your position is redundant, no longer needed. In other words, voluntary redundancy is early retirement.


35 posted on 05/02/2008 3:06:22 PM PDT by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: Vigilanteman

It isn’t just the liberalism, it is the liberalism combined with the phony veneer of “impartiality.” The big newspapers constantly lay claim to unbiased journalism even as they spin every story to fit their template.

People can see through the self righteous posturing and identify just how biased the MSM is.


36 posted on 05/02/2008 3:14:01 PM PDT by MediaMole
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To: mtntop3

News Without Reporters

Unnecessary?

Reporters are a dying breed, says Steve Boriss, and that's a good thing. America got along fine without them once before.



by Steve Boriss

One of journalists' recurring put-downs of bloggers is that they are simply recycling someone else's news - that there will always be a need for reporters to produce it. Yet, America had a reporterless past and will likely have a reporterless future. And, news will be better for it.

...

Now, the Internet is eliminating the reporter as middleman by connecting audiences directly with the real sources of news - politicians' offices, PR firms, whistleblowers, think tanks, courts, police departments, and everyone else with a news ax to grind. These entities have always been capable of writing their own stories in a usable form, but have previously needed reporters to get their stories distributed. Nor will we miss investigative reporters, who had always been dangerously untrained in the skills needed to do their job properly (e.g. forensics, law) and often unfairly destroyed the reputations of innocents. Society has many alternative, more responsible ways to right wrongs, and the blogosphere can easily fill this void.

...

(excerpt)

37 posted on 05/02/2008 4:19:14 PM PDT by Milhous (Gn 22:17 your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies)
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To: freerepublic_or_die

Print is dead. —Dr. Egon Spengler


38 posted on 05/02/2008 4:21:13 PM PDT by Petronski (When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth, voting for Hillary.)
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To: freerepublic_or_die
Let's face it folks.

When Alvin Toffler wrote in The Third Wave back in 1979 that as communications technologies improve, the days of mass media will start to wane. The rise of 60+ channel analog cable TV, 100+ channel digital cable TV, 150+ channel small-dish satellite TV, 80+ channel satellite radio, the public Internet, and lower cost printing has done much seriously erode the influence of the mass media. The breaking of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal in 1998 and the Rathergate scandal in 2004 over the Internet is the penultimate proof of how modern communications technologies are frequently outrunning the mainstream media.

39 posted on 05/02/2008 5:17:35 PM PDT by RayChuang88
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To: All
The best FR tagline I've ever seen anywhere;
The Fourth Estate is a Fifth Column.
40 posted on 05/02/2008 5:30:52 PM PDT by freerepublic_or_die (Islam:Truly the opium of the morons with apologies to Karl Marx)
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To: mtntop3; Obadiah; Mind-numbed Robot; Zacs Mom; A.Hun; johnny7; The Spirit Of Allegiance; ...
If the demise of newspapers meant that people will now be better informed, who could be against it? But that premise is untrue.

The population, especially the young, today is very poorly informed on all matters, especially national and international matters. They don't read much of anything except their call screens.

The “new media” is not utilized, for the most part, for enlightenment. Rather, it is utilized for entertainment and personal applications.

. . . the papers were generally well-written, and that the readers were generally pretty well-informed about what was happening in the world.

I agree that the demise of newspapers will not increase the likelihood of people being "pretty well-informed about what is happening in the world." My critique is more radical than that; my complaint is exactly that it is possible to be so fixated on "what is happening in the world" that you lose your perspective and are lost in the fog of breaking news (of which "the fog of war" is a special case).

Journalism as we know it didn't even exist when the First Amendment was ratified; without the telegraph the newspapers didn't have unique access to "what is happening in the world," and consequently were not in the business of selling extremely perishable news. That is why so many "newspapers" of the day were weeklies rather than dailies; some didn't even have a deadline at all and just printed when the printer was good and ready. Newspapers were written in a completely different style then than they have been for the past century - they were openly partisan and didn't claim to be objective. So a Thomas Jefferson and an Alexander Hamilton could, without raising an eyebrow, each openly sponsor a newspaper to attack the politics of the other.

All that changed, over a period of time, after the advent of the telegraph and (1848) the Associated Press. The AP was an aggressive monopolizer of the business of sharing news among newspapers, and it was rightly challenged on the basis that that was an undue concentration of public influence. The AP's defense was that, since the newspapers in its association were famously fractious and represented any point of view that you could name, the AP represented no viewpoint but was objective.

That might sound good in theory, but the argument is nonsense because, de facto, the AP had co-opted those various viewpoints. The newspapers remained "independent," and at loggerheads on the editorial pages - but the editorial pages were no longer the main course of the newspapers. Because, suddenly, the newspapers were in the business of printing "what was happening in the world." And that meant that the various newspapers shared content. Now all of a sudden, it was possible to claim with a straight face that your newspaper was objective - not because it was so in reality, but because all the other newspapers were claiming the same thing - that "journalists" - in general - "are objective." So, far from effectively being at loggerheads due to differing policy prescription preferences, journalists have been effectively been in lockstep since the advent of the AP.

When Eisenhower was forming his cabinet in 1953, he named General Motors CEO Charles E. Wilson to be SecDef:

Wilson's nomination sparked a major controversy during his confirmation hearings before the Senate Armed Services Committee, specifically over his large stockholdings in General Motors. Reluctant to sell the stock, valued at more than $2.5 million, Wilson agreed to do so under committee pressure. During the hearings, when asked if as secretary of defense he could make a decision adverse to the interests of General Motors, Wilson answered affirmatively but added that he could not conceive of such a situation "because for years I thought what was good for the country was good for General Motors and vice versa." Later this statement was often garbled when quoted, suggesting that Wilson had said simply, "What's good for General Motors is good for the country." Although finally approved by a Senate vote of 77 to 6, Wilson began his duties in the Pentagon with his standing somewhat diminished by the confirmation debate.
The picture journalists painted of Wilson - that he thought that "What's good for General Motors is good for the country" - is precisely my opinion of Big Journalism under the aegis of the Associated Press. They think that whatever is good for them is good for the country. And while in 1953 there was something to be said for the fact that GM was such a bellwether of the US economy that what was good for GM would be reflected in the general prosperity of the country, that simply is not, and could never be, the case with journalism. That could never be the case, because "No news is good news" - which implies that bad news for the country is good for the journalism business. As witness, the flurry of journalistic activity - and readership/viewership - which accompanies a war or natural disaster.

And, of course, we are all familiar with the tendency of journalism to find fault with businessmen, the military, and the police - the more we need to be able to trust an institution, the more of a target that institution becomes to journalism. Journalism promotes itself by tearing down others. Journalistic criticism does not face a bottom line; if the things journalism promotes for others to do turn out to be disasters, journalism simply changes the subject. And invites us further into the fog of breaking news, and away from the clarity of retrospectives which would, for example, show that journalism was insistently, determinedly, fanatically wrong about Ronald Wilson Reagan.

"It is not the critic who counts . . . the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena Theodore Roosevelt
When Madison was saying that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press . . ." the content of "the press" of the day resembled the Rush Limbaugh Show of today far more than it did that of The New York Times of today. And that is why I can be entirely sanguine about the troubles of Big Journalism today even as I assert that we today need more, rather than less, adherence to the First Amendment.

The Market for Conservative-Based News


41 posted on 05/02/2008 5:40:42 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (Thomas Sowell for President)
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To: Paleo Conservative

Must ‘borrow’ this picture :)


42 posted on 05/02/2008 5:48:47 PM PDT by ElPatriota (Duncan Hunter 08 -- I am proud to support this man for my president and may be Huck?.. Naah :))
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To: RayChuang88
interesting, yet incomplete. "communications technologies" coupled with human nature's fascination with the morbid and complete disregard for the dignity of others creates a surveillance society where information is deviod of meaning and context.

then the national pastime becomes escaping the all-seeing eye with ever more clever means, bribes, and charades.

43 posted on 05/02/2008 6:01:22 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand ("resort not to force until every just law be defied")
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To: the invisib1e hand
oh, yeah, and nobody trusts anyone. this will create a super-stratified culture: those who can afford to keep their records completely free of the errors that crop up like ants in database management and those who cannot: Cyber-non-persons.

/rant

44 posted on 05/02/2008 6:03:59 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand ("resort not to force until every just law be defied")
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
Allow me to share Boriss' succinct history of the AP:
Almost from the very beginning, the Associated Press (AP) has been a greedy deal among newspapers at the expense of their readers. It started innocently enough as a group of New York newspapers pooling their resources to get news from Europe faster. But soon, it degenerated into an anti-competitive scheme resembling a cartel, with AP member newspapers at times banding together to snuff-out would be competitors by denying them membership. Worse still, it created an unhealthy culture in which newspapers viewed themselves as collaborators, not competitors. It’s not a daily miracle that virtually every mainstream outlet covers essentially the same news items – it’s an AP-created culture in which papers refuse to compete for readers by offering different stories.

45 posted on 05/02/2008 6:52:27 PM PDT by Milhous (Gn 22:17 your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies)
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The New York Times and the Washington Post took de facto collaboration one step further.
As part of a secret arrangement formed more than 10 years ago, the Post and Times send each other copies of their next day's front pages every night. The formal sharing began as a courtesy between Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. and former Times Executive Editor Joseph Lelyveld in the early 1990s and has continued ever since.

46 posted on 05/02/2008 7:01:12 PM PDT by Milhous (Gn 22:17 your descendants shall take possession of the gates of their enemies)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion; All

Thanks for the ping c_I_c. One of your best! An OUTSTANDING post in an OUTSTANDING thread of posts.


47 posted on 05/02/2008 9:43:10 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

BTTT


48 posted on 05/03/2008 3:04:06 AM PDT by E.G.C. (To read a freeper's posts, click on his or her screen name and then "In Forum".)
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To: Milhous

Nice link. One of the comments gave me a new tagline!


49 posted on 05/03/2008 1:12:36 PM PDT by Uncledave (Journalists resent bloggers for the same reason prostitutes resent nymphomaniacs)
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To: freerepublic_or_die
I second that wholeheartedly.

...Now if the ratings for CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, and NPR would sink just a little lower...

50 posted on 05/15/2008 8:35:01 AM PDT by T Lady (The Mainstream Media: Public Enemy #1)
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