1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

David Simon's prepared statement before Congress

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SockPuppet, May 6, 2009.

  1. SockPuppet

    SockPuppet Active Member

    I realize there's another thread about the journalism tesitmony, but I came across Simon's prepared statement, which I gather he read during his testimony. (Apparently, he left out the part about kicking out the teeth of newspaper execs.)

    This is well worth the read.

  2. azom

    azom Member

    Good read.
  3. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    It was definitely worth the read and I agree with his great essay/speech.
    I can't help but think Congress upon hearing all this, won't be very passionate about the issue of saving newspapers.
    I mean, deep down, having a watchdog out of the way, I think will not be seen as a bad thing by Congressmen.
    I could be wrong, but I can't see much outrage over the demise of our business.
    We've always been outsiders. They'll let this one business die and/or move over to citizen journalism. They will think citizen journalism sounds just peachy.
  4. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    That's a very good statement. Shotgun style. He hit everything in a limited time.
    I would also like to read what Steve Coll had to say/read. Because, that dude is pretty much the smartest man around. Certainly in our industry.
  5. Dave Kindred

    Dave Kindred Member

    Simon's delivered statement was a greatly abridged version of the prepared -- as was Coll's. (I haven't checked but the statements may be up on the Senate Commerce Committee website.)

    I love Simon. In a roomful of charcoal pinstriped suits, he comes in frayed knock-off Levis and a collarless v-neck shirt under a heavy shirt, all in black. Looks like a lumberjack between trees. Sits two chairs over from Arianna Huffington, all stylish, her hair more expensive than Simon's wardrobe. At one point, sounding like Zsa Zsa Gabor (you old folks explain that to the kids), she says the idea of newspapers getting paid by aggregators for their stuff "is so antiquated." Which causes Simon to fall back in his chair, hands clasped to his bald head, exasperated, because he has made the case, brilliantly if I may so, that news has value and newspapers won't exist, and don't deserve to exist, if they don't value their own work enough to charge for it, someway, sometime, somehow.

    The primary legislative message delivered by the people who care about journalism -- Coll, Simon, a Knight Foundation officer, the Dallas Morning News CEO -- I'm leaving out Huffiington and the Google v.p. because they care only about themselves -- was that the newspaper industry could use a "limited antitrust exemption" so it could at the very least convene a meeting and talk about an agreement that would allow them to demand payment from aggregators and set prices. Antitrust laws now forbid any such talk. There was also talk about turning newspapers into non-profit institutions, but the Dallas guy said that's impossible because the endowment would need to be so huge -- for Dallas, with a $30 million newsroom budget, he said the endowment necessary to throw off the $30 million each year would need to be $1.5 billion.

    Favorite note I made during the 3 hours: "Simon-Huffington, steel cage match, ppv, $49.95."
  6. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    A 1.5 billion endowment -- doesn't seem like that much to me. I don't know where the money comes from, but it wouldn't seem to be so far out of reach. And remember, just because they'd be non-profit doesn't mean they wouldn't be making some money to cover their costs. A lot of papers out there still make money, and they're still in trouble because they're not making enough or Wall Street does not perceive growth.
  7. SportsDude

    SportsDude Active Member

    Once the government is paying for them, newspapers will no longer be a watch dog.
  8. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Simon made that point quite clear.
  9. Kato

    Kato Active Member

    Does anyone have a link to the video of Simon? Shockingly, the Huffington Post only has clips of Ariana Huffington's testimony.
  10. Baltimoreguy

    Baltimoreguy Member

    Great line about online aggregators.

    I think this is a great point. The fear of being hung out to dry on the front page of a major metro paper used to be a very valid threat. That seems gone, to me. What powerful pol is ever going to return a call on a contentious issue from some guy who runs a web site out of his basement? And that's in the unlikely event that an unpaid blogger would ever even make such a call.

    Wow. I didn't know that. Way to kill the golden goose.

    But after that, I have to admit, he loses me with his single-minded fixation on trashing (not by name this time) John Carroll and Bill Marimow as edtors who "had arrived from somewhere else, and if they could win a prize or two, ... would be moving on to bigger and better opportunities within the chain."

    Yes, Carroll did leave to become editor of the LA Times. Sue him. And Marimow quit rather then carry out a fraction of the newsroom cuts that have since happened in Baltimore.
  11. GBNF

    GBNF Active Member

    Rock the fuck on, David Simon:


    98 minutes in, is Simon's testimony

  12. Dave Kindred

    Dave Kindred Member

    Even John Kerry smiled at that one.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page