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All I Wanted for Christmas Was a Newspaper - Bloggers are no replacement for real journalists
The Wall Street Journal ^ | December 27, 2008 | Paul Mulshine

Posted on 12/27/2008 11:43:59 AM PST by shoptalk

When my colleague at the Newark Star-Ledger John Farmer started off in journalism more than five decades ago, things were very different. After covering a political event, he'd hop on the campaign bus, pull out a typewriter, and start banging out copy. As the bus would pull into a town, he'd ball up a finished page and toss it out the window. There a runner would scoop it up and rush it off to a telegraph station where it would be blasted back to the home office.

At the time, reporters thought this method was high-tech. Now, thanks to the Internet, a writer can file a story instantly from anywhere. It's incredibly convenient, but that same technology is killing old-fashioned newspapers. Some tell us that that's a good thing. I disagree and believe that the public will miss us once we're gone.

Mr. Farmer, who is now the Star-Ledger's editorial page editor, retold his experience of the old days a short while ago at a wake of sorts for departing colleagues. The paper has been losing money and might have had to shut its doors sometime early next year. So the drivers' and mailers' unions made contract concessions, and about 150 nonunion editorial staff took buyouts as part of an effort by the publisher to save the paper.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: msm; newarkstarledger; newspapers; whine
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So if you want a car or a job, go to the Internet. But don't expect that Web site to hire somebody to sit through town-council meetings and explain to you why your taxes will be going up. Soon, newspapers won't be able to do it either.

Nice try, Mr. Mulshine, but you fail.

Sadly, most "real journalists" only encourage the tax raising which springs from the equality-of-outcomes mindset.

I can easily imagine you as wordsmith to the Crown in pre-Revolutionary America, comtemptuous and dismissive of incensed anti-tax pamphlet writers - patriot bloggers, if you will.

1 posted on 12/27/2008 11:43:59 AM PST by shoptalk
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To: shoptalk

‘zackly.


2 posted on 12/27/2008 11:45:25 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: shoptalk

What passes for journalism these days is a joke. Bloggers can’t be easy worse. And the internet allows people who are actually close to the news to post the truth directly without having it distorted and filtered. Dinosaur media indeed.


3 posted on 12/27/2008 11:46:04 AM PST by nobama08
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To: shoptalk

Why don’t these so-called hacks that self-title themselves as “journalists” just come out and say “we’re PROPAGANDISTS for the Dumocrats”?


4 posted on 12/27/2008 11:46:15 AM PST by max americana
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To: shoptalk

Mr. Mulshine is smoking the drapes. FR breaks more news than the WSJ and NYT combined, unless it is news that hurts national security or helps the dnc, which is where these leftists rags excel. Good riddance Mr. Mulshine.


5 posted on 12/27/2008 11:49:52 AM PST by ScreamingFist (Annihilation - The result of underestimating your enemies. NRA)
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To: shoptalk
There is some truth to this idea, however unfortunate that may be. Most bloggers have other full time jobs. They do excellent interpretation of the news, but most of the material they use came originally from newspapers or some other source.

Look at the blogger that dug up that old Obama audio on redistribution at wealth. That was great, but how many more little bits like that would we have if we actually had 100 reporters looking into Obama's past? But bloggers can't do that. (And the newspapers were too busy looking into Palin's past.)

We do need a new media framework, I think, but I don't think the current situation is sustainable. If the newspapers go under, bloggers will suddenly have a lot less to talk about. Presumably the market would cause something new to develop.
6 posted on 12/27/2008 11:52:35 AM PST by kc8ukw
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To: shoptalk

The strength of real journalists is the unshaven, cigar-chewing, blue ink stained editor who slashes copy to the quick. Bloggers lack this vital organ.


7 posted on 12/27/2008 11:53:03 AM PST by RightWhale (We were so young two years ago and the DJIA was 12,000)
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To: shoptalk
Bloggers no replacement for real journalists.

Sorry, Junior. Newspapers are even less so.

8 posted on 12/27/2008 11:53:47 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: shoptalk

Yeah? Too bad we have NO REAL journalist anymore.


9 posted on 12/27/2008 11:54:08 AM PST by TribalPrincess2U (Welcome to Obama's America... Be afraid, be very afraid)
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To: RightWhale
The strength of real journalists is the unshaven, cigar-chewing, blue ink stained editor who slashes copy to the quick.

I bet you believe in unicorns too, right?

10 posted on 12/27/2008 11:55:43 AM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: shoptalk

I still believe there is a role for real journalists, to bad we can’t seem to find any.


11 posted on 12/27/2008 11:55:49 AM PST by pepperdog (The world has gone crazy.)
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To: shoptalk
All I Wanted for Christmas Was a Newspaper - BloggersAP Dem shills are no replacement for the hard-boiled, hard charging, chase the story to the end no matter what real journalists.

Fixed it.

12 posted on 12/27/2008 11:55:50 AM PST by MovementConservative (Merry Christmas.)
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To: shoptalk

Mr. Mulshine of Dorkville

...oops....dupes....poops......


13 posted on 12/27/2008 11:57:02 AM PST by Cyber Ninja (His legacy is a stain on the dress.)
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To: shoptalk
yep thats so true

The Gas Tax [imposing a gas tax or similar levy to keep gas prices up......] New York Times

Posted on Saturday, December 27, 2008 9:27:24 AM by Sub-Driver

The Gas Tax

President-elect Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress seem to have a clear vision of the auto industry they think the country needs. It must be financially self-sufficient. It also must be capable of producing highly fuel-efficient, next-generation vehicles that can help the nation cope with climate change and finite supplies of oil.

Yet for all the conditions attached to it, the multibillion-dollar aid package for Detroit’s carmakers approved by the White House (with Mr. Obama’s support) fails to address one crucial question: Who will buy all the fuel-efficient cars that Detroit carmakers are supposed to make?

The danger is that too few will, especially if gasoline prices remain low. Therefore, it might be time for the president-elect and Congress to think seriously about imposing a gas tax or similar levy to keep gas prices up after the economy recovers from recession.

Americans did not buy enormous gas guzzlers just because Detroit marketed them relentlessly. They bought them because they wanted big cars — and because gas was cheap. If gas stays cheap, Americans would be less inclined to squeeze their families into a lithe fuel-efficient alternative.

Furthermore, even if the government managed to convert General Motors, Chrysler and Ford to the cause of energy efficiency, cheap gas could open the door for a competitor — Toyota, perhaps? — to take over the lucrative market for gas-chuggers, leaving Detroit’s automakers eating dust once again.

Americans have flirted with fuel-efficient cars before only to jilt them when gas prices fell. In the late 1970s, for instance, they spurned light trucks as gas prices doubled. But as gas prices declined between 1981 and 2005, the market share of sport-utility vehicles, pickups, vans and the like jumped from 16 percent to 61 percent of vehicle sales in the United States.

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

14 posted on 12/27/2008 11:57:09 AM PST by Gone_Postal (We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat)
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To: TribalPrincess2U
Real journalists smoke Lucky Strikes and drink cheap beer or Bourbon.
15 posted on 12/27/2008 11:59:17 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: shoptalk
So if you want a car or a job, go to the Internet. But don't expect that Web site to hire somebody to sit through town-council meetings and explain to you why your taxes will be going up. Soon, newspapers won't be able to do it either.
LOL, the local press are apoligists for higher taxes, it is bloggers who are fighting the good fight, God bless them, every one.
16 posted on 12/27/2008 11:59:38 AM PST by narses (http://www.theobamadisaster.com/)
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To: shoptalk
The WSJ's readers' comments are a hoot.
17 posted on 12/27/2008 12:01:28 PM PST by Grut
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To: shoptalk

Well said!

The Big Leftard Media has become nothing more The Ministry of Truth (Propaganda) for the Democommies...and the public is aware of this fact and have quit buying the product.

The bloggers have stepped in to fill the media vacuum.

This is the New Media rising.


18 posted on 12/27/2008 12:02:10 PM PST by Sergeant_Ronbo
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To: ScreamingFist
I get more breaking news from FR than I do from any newspaper site, Fox news included.

Newspapers are failing because their product sucks and no one wants to buy it.

Good riddance.

L

19 posted on 12/27/2008 12:02:24 PM PST by Lurker ("America is at that awkward stage. " Claire Wolfe, call your office.)
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To: shoptalk
Problem with bloggers is that their writing skills, for the most part, suck.

The message is lost among the glaring errors.

Print media suffers message loss due to bias.

Either way, there is loss.

20 posted on 12/27/2008 12:02:29 PM PST by humblegunner (Where my PIE at, fool?)
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To: narses

Local government meetings are on cable.


21 posted on 12/27/2008 12:03:46 PM PST by Mark was here (The earth is bipolar.)
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To: shoptalk
All I Wanted for Christmas Was a Newspaper - Bloggers are no replacement for real journalists

To the extent that some employees of the MSM are real journalists that is true.

I am one who believes that we need the MSM, just employees or real journalists, as long as the Internet provides access to all kinds.

No more limited to just the local rag, IOW.

Thus we can find the "rest of the story" and we can find spiked stories.

The bloggers, et al are a great resource for learning the "rest of the story" and finding spiked stories.

22 posted on 12/27/2008 12:05:00 PM PST by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: kc8ukw
Look at the blogger that dug up that old Obama audio on redistribution at wealth. That was great, but how many more little bits like that would we have if we actually had 100 reporters looking into Obama's past?

Let's see...

That clip came from an editorial board meeting with Obama and editors of the San Francisco Chronicle. Those journalists sure did a good job spreading that bit of news around by themselves, didn't they?

Almost as good as the Los Angeles Times did with the video of Obama and Ayers at the dinner for Khalidi.

What good are your journalists if all they do is bury the news that they originate?

-PJ

23 posted on 12/27/2008 12:05:01 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (You can never overestimate the Democrats' ability to overplay their hand.)
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To: shoptalk
Sorry Paul, "Journalism" is reaping what it has sown. Your "profession" has screamed for everything it's getting.

Hope the bankruptcies are fun!

24 posted on 12/27/2008 12:05:12 PM PST by Psycho_Bunny (ALSO SPRACH ZEROTHUSTRA)
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To: Mark was here

They are. Then bloggers take and YouTube the egregious BS and voila`, the powers that be HATE them.


25 posted on 12/27/2008 12:06:25 PM PST by narses (http://www.theobamadisaster.com/)
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To: hinckley buzzard

Gone with the Linotype and the penny paper.


26 posted on 12/27/2008 12:06:40 PM PST by RightWhale (We were so young two years ago and the DJIA was 12,000)
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To: shoptalk

You will be missed by the DNC but nobody else.

Pray for W, America and Our Freedom Fighters


27 posted on 12/27/2008 12:08:39 PM PST by bray (Gov Palin isn't corrupt enough for DC)
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To: Paul Mulshine

"don't expect that Web site to hire somebody to sit through town-council meetings""

You are a desperate and delusional ding-a-ling. The mortals will do fine without you.


28 posted on 12/27/2008 12:08:50 PM PST by I see my hands (_8(|)
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To: kc8ukw
I disagree. The rise of J-school training has meant that news folks often know LESS about a particular subject.

Take Mr. Mulshine's example of the tedium of sitting through a municipal government meeting. Some folks actually care about issues debated/voted upon and can inform their local community through the inter-web thingy without waiting for the dozing "journalist" to file his story.

Some non-journalists are actually experts in certain areas and don't need to use the dead tree media's work product as a springboard for informed discussion.

29 posted on 12/27/2008 12:10:45 PM PST by shoptalk
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To: Psycho_Bunny
My sentiments exactly! I am looking forward to a bunch of out of work journalist. Wonder what they are prepared to do then, flip burgers?
30 posted on 12/27/2008 12:12:29 PM PST by Ditter
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To: shoptalk

“Journalists” forget that the purpose of a newspaper is to sell ads. The ads are placed on the pages before the stories are.

And most newspapers simply copy off the AP and Reuters wires to fill their column inches.


31 posted on 12/27/2008 12:13:22 PM PST by LibFreeOrDie (Obama promised a gold mine, but he will give us the shaft.)
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To: shoptalk

I’ll miss the flash-bulb cameras! ROFL


32 posted on 12/27/2008 12:13:44 PM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist
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To: shoptalk

Excuse me Mr. MULEshine,

There are no “real journalists”, or very few of them for sure. FR is where I can scan worldwide news, gather some facts or keep it narrowly focused depending on my interest of the day, it’s got them all beat IMO.

Sure, I’d love to be able to hold a real paper in my hands and read, something satisfying about that as I dislike squinting at a screen, scrolling through an article but it sure beats the propaganda mills regardless.

In our rural Texas area we have a couple of weeklys that hit on the local town councils and issues as well as the annual Christmas parades and nice buck deer taken by locals, thank you very much.


33 posted on 12/27/2008 12:15:11 PM PST by brushcop (We remember SSG Harrison Brown, PVT Andrew Simmons B CO 2/69 3ID KIA Iraq OIF IV)
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To: shoptalk
I disagree and believe that the public will miss us once we're gone.

America, the once-proud nation, certainly will NOT.
Good freaking riddance.

34 posted on 12/27/2008 12:15:24 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: pepperdog
Just take a look at who's staffing journalism schools, for a typical example here's Robert Jensen of Texas Univ. In addition to the students who gravitate to Journalism as flunkees who can't cut it in business or the technical disciplines such as math, science or engineering, others are looking for easy curricula. It has become the bottom of the barrel being taught by the bottom of the barrel.
35 posted on 12/27/2008 12:23:53 PM PST by RightWingConspirator (Swiftboating: Revealing inconvenient truths about Democrat candidates)
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To: shoptalk

“Soon, newspapers won’t be able to do it either.”

They already don’t. Maybe that is why no one is subscribing to them anymore and they are bankrupt.


36 posted on 12/27/2008 12:25:28 PM PST by CodeToad
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To: shoptalk

Many employees of the print and broadcast media have business cards or resumes that cite “journalist” as their job title. There is a vast, vast difference between that and the biased, op-ed hack that has taken over so many positions. I just want fair-handed treatment when I read an article. ‘nuf said?


37 posted on 12/27/2008 12:26:49 PM PST by pointsal
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To: shoptalk

I guess I should read the article, but Paul Mulshine just turns me off. He is a local, and there was a time that I had respect for him. But — in the past few years he has become just plain contrary, with a negative slant on everything.

Maybe he thinks that people will read his words if only to get a rise out of his opinions, but it doesn’t work with me. Mulshine? Ho-hum.


38 posted on 12/27/2008 12:27:12 PM PST by Exit148 (Have "man-on-the-street" types taken over the U.S.?)
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To: shoptalk

Yep. He’s longing for the day when only the liberally educated elites could shape public opinion.


39 posted on 12/27/2008 12:27:46 PM PST by demshateGod (the GOP is dead to me)
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To: shoptalk

Waaaaa! My 15 minutes of fame is almost up.


40 posted on 12/27/2008 12:27:53 PM PST by papasmurf (Impeach the illegal bastard!)
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To: shoptalk

http://www.ruthholladay.com/

More changes at the Star

This news about the features section has come now from three different sources, so it’s already circulating out there with former staffers. Here is what the latest source says:

“Not announced yet, but look ford a reduction in the number of sections, all in the interest in saving newsprint. Features (or what is left of features) will front the classified ads.

“Metro/State will front Business. TV listings will move to the A Section (’so to make last minute changes’ of course). From (publisher) Michael (Kane’s) note: If you have any questions, see Dennis (Ryerson).

Also in jeopardy: the Saturday op-ed pages will disappear in January, say some. And some staffers are being asked to punch a clock and their time in the restrooms is being monitored.


41 posted on 12/27/2008 12:28:32 PM PST by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: shoptalk
the public will miss us once we're gone.

How will we know if you won't leave.

42 posted on 12/27/2008 12:29:39 PM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: shoptalk; abb
I remember the six Ws from high school journalism - who, what, where, when, why and how. This basic concept of reporting has been replaced with stick it to Dubya “commentary” for the past eight years.

I see more and more of these whiny pieces coming from the MSM lately. Sounds like a death rattle to me.

43 posted on 12/27/2008 12:34:30 PM PST by shove_it (and have a nice day)
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To: shove_it

44 posted on 12/27/2008 12:36:34 PM PST by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

Chuckle!

That looks like a “reporter” headed for a job interview in the fast food industry.


45 posted on 12/27/2008 12:40:55 PM PST by shove_it (and have a nice day)
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To: shove_it

You left out the fact that the gushing drivel that these morons are already printing and will be printing about Zero and his family for the next four years is enough to make a maggot puke. My daily newspaper will be the next cancellation.


46 posted on 12/27/2008 12:45:15 PM PST by RightWingConspirator (Swiftboating: Revealing inconvenient truths about Democrat candidates)
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To: narses

“LOL, the local press are apoligists for higher taxes, it is bloggers who are fighting the good fight, God bless them, every one.”

Are you saying all bloggers are conservative? (or most)


47 posted on 12/27/2008 12:45:46 PM PST by truth_seeker
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To: shoptalk

In a lot of places, the city council meetings are either streamed or on a cable channel. So why do I need a reported to tell me about things that interest me.


48 posted on 12/27/2008 12:54:42 PM PST by PAR35
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To: truth_seeker

Dunno, doubt it. But the one here in town who fight taxes are.


49 posted on 12/27/2008 1:04:04 PM PST by narses (http://www.theobamadisaster.com/)
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To: shoptalk
Paul is a friend and colleague. I respect his work, his experience, and his knowledge.

With all that said, he is mistaking the content of journalism for the means of delivery. Of course, 90% of what is on the Internet is dreck. The remaining 10% includes nuggets that the MSM totally missed, like the deserved downfall of Dan Rather.

The broader point is this. At the turn of the last century, every newspaper delivered its content on horse-drawn wagons. By 1920, all newspapers were using trucks, and anyone dumb enough to continue using horse-drawn wagons would soon be out of business.

Standard newspapers face a similar choice today. Those who persist in putting ink on paper will die. That includes the NY Times. Any newspaper that learns how to edit Internet content, publish on the Internet, and make money doing that, will become the leading newspaper in the United States, bar none.

This is a rather obvious point. Paul is missing it.

Congressman Billybob

Latest article, "Come Back to 1600, Johnny Dean, Johnny Dean"

The Declaration, the Constitution, parts of the Federalist, and America's Owner's Manual, here.

50 posted on 12/27/2008 1:07:08 PM PST by Congressman Billybob (Latest book: www.AmericasOwnersManual.com)
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