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March 18, 2009 at 4:45 pm #660578
“Patrick and Tracey are stretched to their limits delivering the quality product they are putting out now…”
“I also don’t agree that Patrick and Tracy are “stretched to their limits.” You must have some information that I don’t. From my perspective they seem to be constantly expanding and doing new things with the blog.”
What gives you the impression that I thought you were demeaning them? Nowhere did I accuse you of calling them incompetent.
You said they are stretched to their limits. I think that the way they are constantly adding new features and value to the WSB indicates that they have bandwidth to spare. That’s all.
Take a breath.
Once again, I think the the end of printing news on paper is overdue. I don’t think the sky is falling. I think we will get through this and will have something different and better as a result. Journalism and investigative reporting will not only survive but will realize new heights, unburdened with the task of distributing printed news on paper.
To date much of the coverage of the decline of newspapers has been from old media itself. And that’s about as unbiased as the Darth Vader telling us how likely it will be that the Rebels succeed.
And while your syllogisms are stunning, you were the one who tried to reframe this argument as depriving the poor of their news which I think is one of the weakest I have heard yet for “saving” newspapers, especially when you start splitting hairs about which poor we should care about first. But bringing it back to the issue at hand, so far I think you’ve covered the people who are too busy working or who can’t afford the bus fare to go to the library and access the news online. And you’ve covered the credit deprived and homeless. But what about the blind? And what about those without arms who cannot even lift a newspaper to read it? Surely you can plumb greater depths to find an even more obscure marginalized demographic who will suffer from the disappearance of newspapers by which to make your point.
BTW, you said the OLPC $150 laptops were not available in the USA. I simply said they were indeed available here as I saw them on Amazon last fall. I did not say that was the only way to purchase them or the only place they were available. But you fallaciously launched into how that excludes those without credit and the homeless. This is the logic of JoB.
Who was it that wrote in these Forums that engaging in discussions here was as useful as banging two bricks together? Was it The House? Well he was absolutely right.
I think it would be fairly easy to look at any kind of innovation and demonstrate ways that someone suffered as a result of change. But I think it is always myopic to do this as at the time something is changing it is not always obvious what future opportunities may emerge from new systems and methods. It is easy to say we need to preserve the system we have now because it is all we know. It is difficult to be enthusiastic for the new things we will have simply because they have not yet been realized.
I think it is extremely short-sighted and way off the mark to look at this present situation and frame it as a movement from cheap paper news for the masses in favor of computerized news for only those who can afford computers. I see limitless potential in the new opportunities that will emerge from divesting ourselves of the limits of printing news on paper, in much the same way that the prevalence of high-quality digital cameras has broadened access to filmmaking, a realm once controlled by a handful of big film studios. Or the way that musicians can now produce and distribute their music directly without the interference from a label.
Technology grows increasingly more powerful at the same time that it gets less expensive. It doesn’t require much imagination or facility with math to conjure a time in the near future when new technologies for the delivery of news will be cheaper and more accessible (not to mention more dynamic) than news on paper is or ever was. I just cannot understand why so many people are having trouble seeing these changes for the huge opportunities they present. After witnessing what Patrick and Tracy have done with the WSB in only a few short years, I for one am excited about the future.March 18, 2009 at 6:01 pm #660579
What i like most about newspapers is what i like most about this forum.. the exposure to ideas i would never have sought out for myself… the quirky.. the unexpected.
and that extends to advertising…
i can find anything i want on the internet… if i know to go look for it. But quirky inventions and better ideas are not so likely to find me unless someone gives me the heads up to go look for them.
The more we filter the amount of information we read on the internet, the less likely we are to be exposed to alternate opinions or new ideas..
the web’s strength is the ability to bring us information quickly and to filter out that which doesn’t interest us.
It is also it’s largest failing.
When you seek only that information that you have already decided interests you, you don’t get the opportunity to challenge your opinions… to widen your interests.
We see that clearly in the sources cited here on the forum by those of differing political views… the tendency is to read and quote that which agrees with your current opinion.
thus, i see Sarah Palin’s candidacy as an erosion of respect for intellect and HMCRich sees her as promoting “real” values.
To me, the greater conversation isn’t so much about the medium (although i am very concerned about access for all) but about the content.
Our current financial crisis might not have been so bad had there been more exposure to those who were pointing out that the emperor had no clothes and less beating of the financial drum by news organizations that produce financial news…
and that is as true on the web as it was on television and cable and in the newspapers.
This is a glaring example of what happens when public perception is shaped by vested interests and not challenged by that free press that is supposed to be the cornerstone of democracy.
It is not political pandering to worry about the quality of education of our children or about the quality and diversity of information available to the masses.. it is self preservation.
Those masses who will get their information from whatever sources are actually easily available to them are voters.. they literally control our political destiny.
Right now those masses are entertained by manufactured reality shows and celebrity exposes and manufactured scandals and fed their political news in 60 second scintillating soundbites that need not be backed up by factual information.
This has to change if our society has any chance of transformation to common goals.
I don’t see how that is going to happen when the majority of those who provide our news are dependent upon their latest scoop for their day to day expenses… food, rent, etc…
One thing newspapers did right was employ reporters and give them time to pursue the story not currently being told.
Who has the revenue stream and the will to do that now? It is all well and good to say that someone will emerge… but will they emerge in time to sustain the perceived value of that kind of reporting?
Who does that kind of reporting now and do you subscribe?
Do you recycle your subscription or pass it along so that someone else might pick it up and find questions they didn’t know to ask?
These are very real questions… and i wonder at the wisdom of cavalierly heralding the demise of the easiest and cheapest access to that kind of questioning… the local newspaper.
My concerns have nothing to do with resistance to change… I am all for changes that would make most quake… but with a concern that progress includes content and not just form.
Valuing form over content.. immediacy over long term goals… quick and easy and unchallenged solutions… brought us to our current crisis.
It probably isn’t the way to dig us out.
I value the immediacy and quality of news that Patrick and Tracy bring us or i wouldn’t be spending time on this website.
We are lucky to have the forum to offer so many alternative viewpoints on every story and topic.. and i value that too…
I believe that Patrick and Tracy have given us the very best of local content…
But i also value the investigative resource and accessibility that has been traditionally provided by newspapers.
This need not be a confrontational conversation.
We will ultimately shape the future of online publications by our demands…
We don’t have to lose what we valued in newsprint to gain online access to news… but unless we ask the hard questions… how are we going to finance this transition so that it actually meets our needs? … we will lose as much or more than we gain.March 18, 2009 at 6:24 pm #660580
….and that’s why print media is dead; too much to read, absorb, and assimilate.March 18, 2009 at 7:16 pm #660581
Newspapers are failing because they are blunt tools that need to have broad appeal for the entire audience, versus news delivered by modern methods that can be fine tuned in terms of relevance to the person on the receiving end. The generations coming up behind us already have been shown to have a much greater capacity for processing vast amounts of information. Parsing out relevant information will grow increasingly more important in an age when the amount of available information is ever expanding. And algorithms for bringing us new (but still relevant) information will only improve too.
Advertising will need to do much more to adapt to this reality too and because of inertia it simply hasn’t yet changed enough. Advertising seems to be everywhere these days and yet no one in that industry can exactly explain why ad revenue is dropping calamitously in virtually every market. Tech savvy people (using devices like Tivo) have made an art of skipping over commercials during their favorite television shows. But I don’t think it is the commercials themselves that are the problem. It is that they are not adequately tuned to the audience. Why should I (a man in my 30’s) sit there and waste my time watching commercials for Tampax, Lipitor and dozens of other products that have absolutely no relevance or appeal to me? People with an inflated sense of importance immediately whinge about privacy the second this issue is raised, but I for one will be all for tuning the advertising message to my personal tastes and demographics through interactive technologies.
It is interesting that Sarah Palin’s name is still being floated out there when it’s clear that she’s well on her way to just being another footnote in Presidential history. I don’t really have any strong feelings for Sarah Palin either way. But apropos of the earlier discussion about thinking independently, I wonder how much of what we saw in the media was really about her ability and how much was a result of the old media’s endlessly sexist presentation of women as one of two archetypes: the bitch or the ditz.March 18, 2009 at 7:58 pm #660582
did i read that right? are you calling those who can’t afford computers and internet access an “obscure marginalized demographic” ???
Whoa… that might be a bit unwise in these economic times.
The unemployment rate in this state has risen past 8% and unemployment benefits barely cover food and housing…
what once seemed a necessity may be move into that luxury category for some of our unemployed neighbors…
even if you discount the cost of the equipment.. have you added up how much you pay each month to stay connected?
oh.. and most of those services require credit and a physical address too…
or “paying the rent” for using space where free wifi is available by purchasing expensive drinks…
both of which are out of reach of those who might somehow be able to scrape up the $150 to purchase that internet connection device.. because it isn’t quite a computer in the larger sense of the word…
As for not specifically including the blind and maimed… are you unaware that we have one of the best resources for the blind in the country right here in Seattle that actually reads the paper to those seeking access every day? That resource is available to anyone.
“And while your syllogisms are stunning, you were the one who tried to reframe this argument as depriving the poor of their news which I think is one of the weakest I have heard yet for “saving” newspapers, especially when you start splitting hairs about which poor we should care about first.”
well, yes … i care about the people in my community who will be directly affected by the demise of this paper and those in my country who will be directly affected by the demise of newspapers in general…
Aside from my general propensity as a bleeding heart liberal to actually care about those with less advantages than myself.. and the fact that i have lived that life myself and have firsthand knowledge of how daunting even survival can be…
i offer you blatant self interest…
Do you think an informed electorate is unimportant enough that only those with electronic resources should be informed?
Or do you rely on the persuasive powers of those who have your best interests at heart to tell the uninformed portion of our electorate how to vote?
You might want to think about that.. because these are the people who brought us Sarah…
“journalism and investigative reporting will not only survive but will realize new heights, unburdened with the task of distributing printed news on paper.”
and you base this on???
you are right that there will be no more expense for papers.. but along with that comes a demise in revenue for paying the salaries of reporters…
where do you think the resources to fund professional reporters will come from?
Do you assume that the advertising revenues will automatically roll over onto on-line news websites?
WSB is making news because it is making a profit delivering news online… that this is newsworthy should tell us all something….
there is a huge gap between making a profit and being profitable enough to hire enough full time staff to allow professional individuals the luxury of producing anything more than the current news and funding the fact finding missions …
What will those who have made their living doing investigative reporting.. and there are few left who do so… be doing by the time that revenue stream appears?
And where will the new journalism students get their education and experience?
Are you aware that many universities are closing down prize winning journalism departments because of reduced demand?
I would like to think that you are right and that sources for that kind of reporting will somehow appear.. but my pragmatic side asks the age old question.. how will we pay for this… or in this case.. who will pay for this?
“I think it is extremely short-sighted and way off the mark to look at this present situation and frame it as a movement from cheap paper news for the masses in favor of computerized news for only those who can afford computers. I see limitless potential in the new opportunities that will emerge from divesting ourselves of the limits of printing news on paper, in much the same way that the prevalence of high-quality digital cameras has broadened access to filmmaking, a realm once controlled by a handful of big film studios. Or the way that musicians can now produce and distribute their music directly without the interference from a label.”
Again. this only works for those that can afford the innovations… while you and i obviously can.. at least for the moment.. what happens to those who can’t?
Reliance only on innovation not only widens the gap between haves and have nots in our society but lessens the future opportunities for those unfortunate enough to be born to less advantaged parents.
Increases in technology have not necessarily increased public access to news dissemination.
Yes, the internet has given the individual voices of those with access to it bandwidth… and in theory access to millions…
and to those who have access, it has facilitated political action…
but there is no guarantee that this medium will not follow the pattern already set by broadcast television.
public access television has not benefited from the technological advances in broadcast sources… in fact, access has been reduced with the onset of digital programming and cable programming…
access that once was legislated as part of licensing has deteriorated to privileges bestowed by a few select sources…
what will make the internet different once it becomes a significant and propitiatory source of income for an increasingly limited number of corporations?
That battle is being waged as we speak and there is little indication that it is going to be won for individuals… access is currently in the control of private companies… and they are strengthening their legal rights as we type.
The trouble with believing that what we think benefits us is more important than making sure those benefits are universal is that we risk finding ourselves in the have nots instead of the haves… denied the benefits we thought we had retained for ourselves.
“This is the logic of JoB”
Aren’t you nudging the personal insult line here?
I will trade arguments but i am not into trading personal insults…March 18, 2009 at 8:12 pm #660583
Newspapers cost money. Internet costs money. They all cost money. The “poor” not getting the news b.c. of the soon to be extinct newspaper is an argument full of b.s. CJ is right; just deal with it.March 18, 2009 at 8:19 pm #660584
“It is interesting that Sarah Palin’s name is still being floated out there when it’s clear that she’s well on her way to just being another footnote in Presidential history. I don’t really have any strong feelings for Sarah Palin either way. But apropos of the earlier discussion about thinking independently, I wonder how much of what we saw in the media was really about her ability and how much was a result of the old media’s endlessly sexist presentation of women as one of two archetypes: the bitch or the ditz. “
you pose an interesting question about Sarah Palin’s portrayal in the media… and i would buy it except for the clips produced by Alaska tourism prior to her nomination.
What we saw portrayed on national television is pretty much what she was selling prior to the nomination…
as for her 15 minutes of fame being at an end… i wish that was so but the amount of press she is still recieving is not so indicative of her swift demise..
nor is the loyalty still shown to her by many otherwise reasonable republicans… who all want their daughters (and sons) better educated and better informed..
yet still somehow make a cult of nobleness out of her ignorance…
“Who was it that wrote in these Forums that engaging in discussions here was as useful as banging two bricks together? Was it The House? Well he was absolutely right.”
I strongly believe in the benefit of banging conversational bricks together.. it’s how we get to know one another.. how we trade viewpoints….
how we are exposed to ideas we wouldn’t seek for ourselves.. and wouldn’t be directed at us… targeted by advertisers…
Most important, it’s how we the find common ground
necessary for compromise.March 18, 2009 at 8:22 pm #660585
everyone is entitled to an opinion..
but telling someone they are full of BS is not much of an argument in favor of any position…
“Newspapers cost money. Internet costs money. They all costs money. The “poor” not getting the news b.c. of the soon to be extinct newspaper is an argument full of b.s. CJ is right; just deal with it. “March 18, 2009 at 8:34 pm #660586
but i put an end to THAT decades ago…
all those hormonal mood swings were interfering too much with my intellect…
dare i say it.. sexual thoughts were popping up when the mood struck.. not when i had time for a little titillation.
must be really tough being a guy and dealing with that 24/7. ;-0March 18, 2009 at 8:46 pm #660587
I don’t know what you’re referring to. I had my reproductive organs removed when I was abducted by the craft from Star Corindor back in 1987.March 18, 2009 at 8:48 pm #660588
JoB your argument is still silly! The newspaper costs money. The internet costs money. The poor has to pay for both or find services like THE LIBRARY that provide them for FREE! If anything I find it insulting that you think that the poor are only deserving of the old news papers provide and not the most current up-to-date information the internet provides. I apologize for calling the argument B.S. I just felt that the argument was being made just to argue b/c it seemed to continually be bouncing around in your posts to whatever fits the moment best. (i.e. not be disputed @ the moment.) I do have a couple of quick questions for you though, if you have time I would love a response:
“Aside from my general propensity as a bleeding heart liberal to actually care about those with less advantages than myself..”
Are you implying the anybody else but a liberal isn’t capable of caring about those with less advantages? That is quite an interesting statement, but then again after the elections that doesn’t really surprise me.
I guess I also have to ask do you honestly believe that the service that reads the paper to the blind isn’t going to read the news from a blog or other internet source? That seems a little obscene doesn’t it??
And lastly would you mind providing some links to your “facts” about what is and is not profitable etc. ? I guess they are sounding a bit like um opinions?!?
Cant wait to hear from you!!!March 18, 2009 at 8:55 pm #660589
Fun little facts about advertising dollars, the internet, and newspapers!
“The study advised newspapers to not depend so heavily on the revenue and focus more on building online ad revenue.” hmmm wasnt there a show called SHOW ME THE MONEY! Looks like we have found it… ONLINE!March 18, 2009 at 9:01 pm #660590
Awwwww heck no, it’s gettin’ all hot up in here!March 18, 2009 at 9:23 pm #660591
JoB: I am the product of illiterate immigrant peasants. So despite the fact that I don’t smoke the same brand of liberal guilt that you do, I do know acutely what it means to be astoundingly poor. But I’m also a walking example of the kind of American dream that is available to people who work hard, value education and make the right choices. My grandparents couldn’t afford newspapers because they were busy raising nine children. But even if they could they didn’t read English. Miraculously their children were able to become educated and even send some of their children to Ivy League colleges. Their great-grandchildren will know a world without news printed on paper and I have no concerns about what this means for their futures.
You may want to start a different thread because this one is (was) about the death of newspapers. I think we all get by now that you’re “down” with the disadvantaged folks. Unless they live in Africa. :-)
I have trouble wringing my hands over how the lack of newspapers will make for an uninformed electorate because we seem to have a lot of uninformed people out there despite the presence of newspapers. When you consider that only something like less than a third of citizens can name the three branches of government, maybe we should admit that newspapers are woefully out of touch with helping to keep people informed. The only thing they seem to teach people is that airplanes are more dangerous and scary than cars.
My logic about how investigative journalism will evolve and thrive in a post-newspaper world seems much more plausible than your logic that every single investigative journalist will instantly vanish simply because newspapers don’t employ them anymore. Witness how many great television personalities (like Jack Parr, Johnny Carson, Milton Bearle, etc.) started out in radio. When radio was minimized by the new technology of television they didn’t shrivel up and die. They evolved and found great success in a new medium. I mean, we’re Americans for pete’s sake. If the Wright Brothers can make the leap from bicycles to airplanes reporters can certainly make the jump from tired old daily newspapers to the Internet.
Your concerns seem way too dependent on the limited thinking of what exists now. I’m trying to tell you here….have some vision. At least entertain the thought that what’s going to happen with news is something that you haven’t thought of yet. Five years before the iPod came out if I had told you that I could carry around a device in my pocket the size of a pack of cigarettes that would contain my entire music library, would you have believed me? What about the idea of beaming pictures through the air? Or sending people to the moon. Crazy ideas, right? Much crazier than the notion of clear, plastic electronic newspapers that roll up, update themselves wirelessly on the fly and cost less than an annual newspaper subscription costs now.
Have some vision and try to see this, again, for the honey and not for the sting.March 18, 2009 at 9:25 pm #660592
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a good discussion and I really don’t want to have to close it.
There are a whole lot of facts and if I wasn’t busy covering the news I’d jump in because there’s a lot to say. Please stick to the facts and the opinions and away from the person-to-person.
Nobody has flagged me on this one but we caught a couple inappropriate posts while making the periodic check. Pun not intended, and Mr. or Ms. Linguini, posting something offtopic in every thread is grounds for deletion, and we trimmed a few last night. You are more than welcome to actually participate in the discussion if you choose.March 18, 2009 at 9:50 pm #660593
JoB: The problem I have with the whole Sarah Palin issue is that everything I know about her was filtered and packaged by a sound-byte driven media that votes Democrat 10 to 1 and, again, likes to present powerful women using reductive clichés.
Her qualifications didn’t matter to me anyway because I decided to vote for Obama early on. But to buy the idea that she was an uneducated ditz, I’d have to think that I’m smarter than the majority of citizens of the State of Alaska who voted for her, some of whom no doubt know her personally. Not to mention smarter than John McCain who I regard as one of the smartest US Senators we have on the Hill. And smarter than at least 150 million American, god-fearing red-staters who supported her candidacy. I’m just not sure I’m comfortable with those prerequisites.
Was she unprepared in some of those gotcha moments engineered by reporters? Apparently. Did she seem inarticulate? Sure. But I’m not sure that the real me would come across if I were placed under the same media glare in such a high stakes game like that.
But whether or not she was fairly represented doesn’t really matter because I think Presidential elections have become largely showbusiness and that people make their decisions based on emotional factors, not facts. For many self-professed liberals her presence in the last campaign struck a raw nerve. And people who for their entire lives disbelieved everything they read suddenly believed EVERYTHING they read because the image the media was packaging dovetailed nicely with their anger over 8 years of a similarly non media savvy, inarticulate and many say stupid President.
With most things, and especially those with the media in the middle, I’d say it was probably a much more complex reality than the one we were presented.March 18, 2009 at 9:56 pm #660594
i didn’t suggest that the poor get their news only from second hand newspapers..
but you can easily find them discarded.. and current.. in most breakfast places and coffee shops… whereas finding a free computer terminal takes a lot more time and effort….
breakfast places were where i found the want ads to find a job when i was homeless some years ago… breakfast is the cheapest meal of the day… and they have washrooms… both welcome after a night in the car.
the last time i visited a breakfast place, i had no trouble picking up that day’s paper to read while i was there.. without paying a cent for the privilege…
that’s what i call availability…
as for your questions…
i can only speak for myself.. having been labeled a bleeding heart liberal on this forum and not minding the label at all since it is pretty accurate in a positive kind of way… i confess that i care a great deal about what happens to individuals…
my caring does not prevent any other person from caring.. in fact.. i encourage others to care deeply about their fellow man/woman/child/pet/wild creatures/ habitat/environment/…
LOL… i don’t think there is an end to that list.
It is not only good for those who directly benefit, but caring for others greatly widens your own personal perspective and builds self esteem. Great two-fer on that one:)
saying something is true about me or about some category I identify myself with doesn’t make it untrue about others…
as for the service for the blind transitioning to reading news from the internet.. i suspect that it will… i was simply pointing out that the newspaper served both the blind community and the amputee community .. so i didn’t feel the need to single them out.
at one time, the newspapers also served our schools through the free papers for schools program.. but that is a thing of the past…
as for what is and isn’t profitable.. i don’t remember stating what is and isn’t profitable… or could or could not be profitable for that matter.. so i am not sure what “facts” you are looking for…
i stated that WSB is making news because it is profitable..
and if that needs clarifying.. it is making news because it may have been the first on-line neighborhood news outlet to make a profit…
so yes, i was aware that advertising is gravitating on-line…
if you look to the right of this page and follow the main page at all you can’t help but be aware that the number of advertisers on this site is increasing…
partly, that’s because this site has a proven success record.. and partly because advertising is gravitating on-line.
I am also aware that placing advertising on-line has not been as profitable per person reached for on-line outlets as print advertising…
for that… lets just reference Tracy’s comment about newspapers teaching advertisers that on-line advertising was substantially cheaper… and avoid all that time spent producing links… I think we can agree she knows what she is talking about.
I don’t know whether advertising rates on-line are anywhere near to reaching parity with print advertising rates… but i suspect whatever progress they were making towards parity will be slowed by the economic “downturn”.
I can’t name a single on-line source of news that is profitable enough at this point to employ full time investigative reporters… (except maybe the PI.. after all they still have assets to liquidate… but i wouldn’t be placing any bets on when the next investigative report will come from the on-line PI or how long those reporters will be employed)
Several of my friends would like to know if you have information they are lacking because they would much rather take the one in a thousand chance to be employed.. maybe even with benefits.. instead of writing free-lance as they do now.
So long story short… if this is where you were going with this… information about the lack of funding currently available to employ investigative reporters on-line was not backed by facts… but it was a reasoned opinion.. backed by credible information.
The PI isn’t failing some time in the nebulous future. It has already failed and we have lost Seattle’s best newsprint source of investigative reporting (as evidenced by journalism awards) with nothing in place to replace it.
I really can’t see why everyone isn’t concerned.March 18, 2009 at 10:49 pm #660595
i don’t smoke any brand of liberal guilt… and i find that the assumption that it would take guilt.. liberal or any other kind… for me to care about those with less advantages than i personally offends me:(
Although i fail to see how the failure of the PI will immediately affect children in Africa…
i would like to point out that we know a lot about the plight of children in Africa and Indonesia and many others places because of the work of investigative journalists… largely paid by newspapers.
And that speaking up about the plight of children in the United States doesn’t preclude caring about the plight of children elsewhere…
Either i haven’t been clear about what i state or you are reacting to the position you think someone like me would take… not what i say.
“My logic about how investigative journalism will evolve and thrive in a post-newspaper world seems much more plausible than your logic that every single investigative journalist will instantly vanish simply because newspapers don’t employ them anymore. Witness how many great television personalities (like Jack Parr, Johnny Carson, Milton Bearle, etc.) started out in radio. When radio was minimized by the new technology of television they didn’t shrivel up and die. They evolved and found great success in a new medium.”
Ok, i bite… who will employ them now?
The popularity of television overtook that of radio over a reasonably long period of time giving the employees in one industry time to adapt to the new industry if they could… where there were jobs waiting to be filled.
Where are the jobs for the current crop of investigative reporters? I agree that free lance work for publications like Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair will fill a temporary gap for some of them.. but there is an exceedingly limited pool of resources there and the competition is fierce… and not likely to be available for local or regional reporters..
and… that “grace period” for a lucky few isn’t looking that good.. both publications regularly solicit advance subscriptions and greatly reduced prices to continue publishing… i haven’t looked at their financial health for a while because last time i looked it was just plain too depressing to contemplate.
Award winning journalism departments at some universities are downsizing beyond the constraints of the current downturn.. and when asked for justification.. they cite the lack of an expected market for graduates.
“Your concerns seem way too dependent on the limited thinking of what exists now. I’m trying to tell you here….have some vision. At least entertain the thought that what’s going to happen with news is something that you haven’t thought of yet.”
i have no doubt that what happens with the news is likely to be something i haven’t thought of yet…
but today.. i am concerned with what has happened to the news in the last decades and what is happening with it now.
I admit that i will always have a problem with the demise of print media of any form..
but in principle i have no problem with a transition from print media to on-line media… as long as on-line media delivers us far more substance than televised news programs (the threat to the newspapers from my generation) have done…
and as long as there is time and resources for the majority of our population to make the transition.
When a comic is the most credible televised news commentator of our time… our news media has failed miserably at their mission.
I agree that our schools in general have failed at creating an educated populace. I once saw the test for graduation from the 8th grade from the early 1900s and most high school graduates would be unable to pass it now… in fact, i know an honor student on her way to college who couldn’t pass it…
But that is no reason to give up on the idea of an educated populace and allow those with an agenda to substitute entertainment for substance in our political campaigns… it’s time to remedy the education problem we have in the United States and every person who speaks up contributes to that process.
I want more information available for those who are struggling to get by.. not less. If we don’t help educate them as to the causes of their current struggles and to possible solutions, we may as well turn our backs and hand them over to those who will pull their emotional heartstrings and inflame their anger to procure a vote…
oh wait.. we already did that…
sorry.. i couldn’t resist:(
We need a populace that is not only educated about why the legislation moving through our congress matters to them.. but about how to effectively lobby their elected officials to create change.
We need grassroots solutions.. and you reach those who will benefit most from those grassroots solutions through print media.. because it is what they have access to.
as for the media hype surrounding Sarah… you may find that her local Alaskan popularity was greatly exaggerated at the time and has largely dissipated…
she is a good politician in that she was very adroit at taking advantage of an opportunity… but like many opportunists, she appears to believe that she should not have to pay her dues.. to educate herself about anything more than emotionally influencing voters… and her accomplishments are greatly exaggerated…
btw…i cite personal converstations with Alaskans and Alaskan blogs as the sources of my somewhat informed opinions…
To his credit, John McCain seemed to have regretted his choice of politically expedient running mate almost immediately after choosing her… and politically jettisoned her as rapidly as he could.
To her credit… Sarah is one of the few politicians of our time who resisted every attempt by her handlers to remake her into a more acceptable image…
maybe that’s why so many are so fiercely loyal to a woman they likely wouldn’t invite into their own home if she hadn’t been their candidate.
and yes.. that is very clearly just my opinion… and not that informed at that:) I admit.. her celebrity is far beyond my understanding.March 18, 2009 at 11:40 pm #660596
Beachdrivegirl & others: For the record, I’ve met JoB in person on a couple of occasions. In fact, she and her husband Dale have been to my house. I’ve found her to be delightful face-to-face. It was merely her circuitous logic, assumptions and jumping to inventive conclusions that I was criticizing.
JoB wrote: “When a comic is the most credible televised news commentator of our time… our news media has failed miserably at their mission.”
Why? Who says that a comic (and an extremely smart one at that) can’t be responsible for some of the best political criticism? Comedians have been the most adept social commentators for centuries. What about Mark Twain or Will Rogers? Were they representative of the failure of media in their respective times? What about Charlie Chaplin lampooning Hilter in the Great Dictator?
Each Simpsons episode is responsible for some of the most brilliant, biting social criticism that is on television today. It has always been like that but has only grown more acute with time. Would you dismiss it merely as a cartoon? Why can’t it be both a cartoon AND important? Maybe you just have old ideas about such things. I assure you that that such distinctions will not matter to the kids who are in elementary school now.
I’m back to thinking this is all akin to the useless clapping of bricks. No one’s opinions are ever changed in these forums, or in what passes for most American discourse these days. We’ve become a great nation of talkers and not such great listeners and thinkers. I’m American too so I guess I should cast the first stone.
At the end of the day, none of this is theoretical. Newspapers, even the distinguished, mighty ones like the New York Times, are failing. Printing news and information on paper, something essential from the time of Gutenberg through the days of the Federalist Papers until now is now yielding to the world of binary: 0’s and 1’s. The print media are not moving to the web because they planned carefully and articulated a new path into the digital age. They are moving into the 21st Century kicking and screaming, motivated mostly by economic forces.
Some may choose to focus on what they think we’ll be losing. I prefer to focus on a new paradigm for what it is: all potential. I don’t pretend to have all of the answers. But that’s not important. What matters more is being receptive to new ideas as they emerge. No amount of debate is going to reverse this process. Debating the vitality of printing news on paper has about as much future as a whale oil salesman.March 19, 2009 at 1:07 am #660597March 19, 2009 at 1:24 am #660598
thanks for finding me delightful..
but i am not so keen on the conversational judgments :)
I certainly don’t find my logic circuitous or my assumptions any more prevalent than yours…
however i am on the fence about how to feel about “jumping to inventive conclusions”.
I think i will take that as a compliment… as that is one of the things you would find delightful about me in personal conversation…
the links i make between what may seem to you unrelated points of information.. and what you would likely call my off the wall and quirky observations:)
And i must disagree that this conversation has not been worthwhile…
No, you aren’t going to change my mind that we are losing something we can ill afford right now…
and i am not going to change your lust for what the future will bring…
but we both brought up valid points and asked some questions that are well worth thinking about…
and which may… if we are very very lucky… frame some of the conversation that creates this new media you look forward to.
I am after all at heart an optimist ;->March 19, 2009 at 3:11 am #660599
Cj I have actually met JoB in person, too! and I also watch the Simpsons!March 19, 2009 at 4:43 am #660600
i have nothing against comedians as political commentators… or against humore for that matter..
but i really do wish more people took the time to watch and listen to Bill Moyers… if they did perhaps he would be the most credible news commentator on television…March 19, 2009 at 5:13 am #660601
wow…I’m so glad that I came in on this thread later on…reading through it, I find that as a woman, as a person who was born “poor”, as a “liberal” who is “down” with disadvantaged people as someone put it (what a sidewise insult), and so many more levels, I’m offended by the generalizations of some of the people on here. And this was supposed to be about the sadness of the demise of the P-I? My opinion? It’s no surprise…it wasn’t all that as a great newspaper. I’m sorry that people have been displaced from their jobs, their livelihood, and I agree that print news has a place in our world…and I appreciate opinions as well as the next person…but I am shaking my head here. First, at what people say about others under the “guise” of opinion, and second, that USA Today still exists, and the P-I doesn’t…says something about how we value news in print…March 19, 2009 at 6:37 am #660602
Hello, wow, this has certainly taken off as a post. This is entertaining.
Sunshine. Unlike some I have heard or read, I do not think all public servants are crooks. They put themselves out there and most do an admiral job. Some are too power hungry and some are crooks. The press should do its job and uncover the corruption or at least let them know they are watching. If not to be a watch dog of the government, then why do we need a free press? I don’t mind bias as long as these news entities admit it, but CJ is right about a 10 to 1 political leaning of the beltway press.
You know, I would prefer to not run for public office, but if I need to I will. I do not take challenges lightly but someday I might. I would be very unpopular with many people, but I do have a nice smile.
I would probably get toasted in the debates. I can run and read a TelePromptor. I must have been clairvoyant.
I don’t want people to “misunderestimate” the power of the prompter.
I have done bad things in my past. Wait a moment, I think I might be qualified. But, I don’t think many would vote for me. I won’t run now but a few times I HAVE thought about it. There are most likely better qualified people.
Seriously, I think others can attest that I want honest politicians. We may disagree on policy issues but the public deserves our representatives to be honest and accountable. Sadly the DNC and RNC seem to care more about parties and power than people.
If you have run or held public office, I commend you.
Job, heh heh, I read more than the sports. I kept looking over the obituaries for the death of liberalism but I never saw that one.
Our house did get the PI. I seem to remember you posting that you didn’t. You may have read it online. I don’t know. I haven’t been data mining.
I saw some good journalism AND very pointed editorials, columns and cartoons. I also saw in my opinion too many national stories from other wire services or newspapers that injected too much editorial content when I wanted straight news. I saw a progressive agenda AND still subscribed off and on many years.
I feel for the staff that have been let go. I hope the PI re-invents itself successfully. It does sound like they will be exploring many different avenues in their future. We shall see.
So I guess it is now, Hello Seattle Times. Maybe the Stranger and the Times will merge. Now those are some personal ads I would enjoy reading! Better to read the newspaper in the tub rather than using a laptop. Safety warning. Please do not read the digital form of the PI near a full tub. You might end up being a footnote in the obituaries. Be safe everyone.
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