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Leonard Pitts on our biz

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by GuessWho, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. GuessWho

    GuessWho Active Member

    Nothing especially groundbreaking here, I don't believe, but he's a national voice who's basically saying publicly that we need to blow it up and start over.

  2. FuturaBold

    FuturaBold Member

    Some good thoughts on there, but again it begs the question: IF YOU CUT AND CUT AND CUT YOUR STAFF, HOW CAN YOU BE GOOD AT REPORTING THE NEWS AND KNOWING YOUR CITIES LIKE NO ONE ELSE?!??!?!

    What needs to change is the media companies' ties to Wall Street and very STUPID moves by company CEOs to take on billions and billions and billions of dollars of debt without much thought of what to do if the economy goes south. That's what needs to get blown up - idiot people who can't make sound business decisions, knowing their greed and failures wreck the lives of hundreds and hundreds of people...
  3. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    The column's points are fine, if nothing new. The problem is that they focus only on the editorial side of thing. No matter how good your solutions to the editorial problems may be, you can't resuscitate the industry without dramatic changes on the business side of things as well, starting with adjusting profit expectations to be more in line with the new media landscape. Until that happens, newspapers will continue to cut and cut in attempts to get back to the huge profits they have grown accustomed to.
  4. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    He's my favorite newspaper columnist. But I don't know how qualified he is to tell newspapers how they ought to stress their expertise with their cities when he writes his Miami Herald column from his home in Bowie, Md. It's been quite a few years since he spent significant time in his paper's city, let alone its newsroom, correct? So the amount of adapting, or lack of it, that's gone on in newsrooms isn't something he's observed himself? My impression is that most folks in newsrooms have cooperated with all kinds of reinvention, much of it frivolous, and the fault lies not with them. Wrong writer for this topic.
  5. Mediator

    Mediator Member

    Bowie to Miami: As local as national news gets. At least he has a good source in the newsroom.

    I think reporters are beyond the idea that they can remain static. Most of us are juggling cameras and recorders to capture sound and video -- because we aren't adding extra staff despite extra outlets. And a lot of us actually enjoy it. We write long or short, graphs or charticles. We take mandatory seminars on writing for the web and we stop expensing $3 parking charges.

    I don't think the newspaper industry can pin this one on us. Especially since in the last five years, buyouts for older writers have made the average newsroom younger, but that hasn't reversed the tide.
  6. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    I actually lost respect for Leonard Pitts in this column for one line:

    "In the Judeo-Christian tradition, we have a saying: God helps those who help themselves."

    You ain't gonna find it in the Old or New Testament. Because it's a lie.
  7. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    That column is straight no-shit-Sherlock stuff to anyone who has been paying attention for, oh, about five years.

    Another point: Mr. Pitts has bosses at the Miami Herald, right? They get paid a hell of a lot of money to steer the organization through times both good and bad, right? So where the f--- are they with their bright ideas for moving forward? Wait, let's see, what have they been doing this week: Cutting and pasting buyout/layoff language from the McClatchy corporate memo, and planning to follow through on a massive reduction in talent and manpower.

    Real inspired. Real visionary. Real worth-whatever-they're-getting-paid.
    Real losers.
  8. ink-stained wretch

    ink-stained wretch Active Member

    Expected better from Lenny when he talks religion. The "God helps" quote comes from Ben Franklin. Both the Old and New Testament say otherwise. Isiah 25:4 "For thou hast been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm, a shade from the heat …"

    Most major religions agree on this.

    In that case, perhaps all believers should step up and subscribe? :)
  9. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Misattribution. The curse of the comfortable from-the-couch columnist since the
    dawn of time.
  10. Bruhman

    Bruhman Active Member

    He didn't say it came from scripture. He said it's a saying in the Judeao-Christian tradition.

    And it is.
  11. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    He travels a lot. Often for speaking engagements, but he gets around and some of his columns have datelines. My point was he doesn't live in the city of the newspaper that employs him and here he is saying that newspapers ought to stress their local knowledge. He's a great columnist, but is there really any question whether Herald readers would be better served if Pitts lived among them?
  12. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Uh, no, it isn't. You're not going to hear the "God won't help you until you help yourself" sermon at any church this Sunday.

    It's an American saying. From a deist. Period. Jews and Christians got nothing to do with it.

    At any rate, I would <i>love</i> to see Pitts apply that line to some other topic and see how well that goes for him.

    Ben Franklin was not a Jew or a Christian.
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