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New Yorker takes a look at the industry

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BRoth, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. BRoth

    BRoth Member

    Just got the magazine today, here's a link for those interested: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/03/31/080331fa_fact_alterman

    Another look at how the Web is changing things.
  2. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    That was a good, long read. But I wouldn't call it reporting. And he seems very sure of himself in predicting what the future holds, and of course some technological change five, 10 years hence could alter everyone's course.

    One thing that baffles me is that suddenly we've moved from the notion that readers are pressed for time to a belief that they not only have time to choke down the essentials but to read hundreds of comments from other readers on each story and engage in such a discussion themselves. I don't think that can possibly be true in a general sense. There are idiot savants who dedicate themselves to a specific topic, but there's no way they have the time, knowledge or energy to engage on a variety of topics. People who value being well-rounded and having a grasp of the world in a broad sense are going to need something a lot more efficient and digestible than what's being described as the future in this article.
  3. GBNF

    GBNF Active Member

    That was a lot of words.

    Some good points — but hasn't this ALL been said? Seriously, I can't remember the first time I read about this stuff.
  4. PHINJ

    PHINJ Active Member

    I just read it on the train but I'm fucking tired and half-drunk.

    It must have been a fucking blast to work at newspapers in the days of Jefferson and Hamilton.
  5. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    okay, it was analysis - not reporting - so what?
    and has been written before - big deal..it needs to be written over and over because it's not going away and it's hugely important.
    frank's point is a good one - who has the time to read through all the public comments..

    democracy is so fragile...and this transformation of media is unsettling...who do you trust...the huffington post prints something about katrina survivors eating corpses...judith miller gives us WMD in iraq...

    the part about an uncomprehending public really hit home...where is the outrage about the Fed's bailout of bear stearns...why are taxpayers bailing out the billionaire partners of bear stearns...and now hillary clinton proposes a $30 billion bailout of the sub-prime lenders and borrowers...and nobody seems to mind...

    this country is docile as sheep...asleep at the wheel

    doesn't appear that the 'new media' is making much of a difference...and the decline of old media allows the Darwinists to cannibalize us..

    the politics are grim - good things are happening in science and arts - but the politics - our ability to govern ourselves for the common good - just get more grim
  6. PHINJ

    PHINJ Active Member

    I think the problem is that newspapers have long tried to be all things for all people. What the Internet has proven is that niche-media can thrive and collectively take down the behemoths

    This is especially true in politics. Ninety-five percent of the country might think Rush is a total idiot but that 5% is incredibly loyal and then there's another 3% who listen because they hate him. On the Net, that becomes viral: You get a small audience hitting Joshua Micah Marshall every day but then you have an exponential amount of other voices linking to him on both sides of the aisle.
  7. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Oh, we mind, plenty . . . but so long as congress is more interested in servicing contributors and feathering their own nests, rather than actually serving/representing constituents . . .
  8. captzulu

    captzulu Member

    Nice read. I thought the Lippeman vs. Dewey frame of context was kind of interesting. I hadn't read that in other news industry analysis. I also like the fact that, unlike many other stories about the industry, it doesn't dismiss the value of traditional journalism simply by saying "newspapers need to embrace and interact with their readers" and that while it takes the position that increased content and input from readers is key to newspapers' survival in terms of business, it doesn't neglect to point out that much of reader-generated content can be junk.
  9. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Very well said.
  10. BRoth

    BRoth Member

    “Less than one in five believe what they read in print,” the 2007 “State of the News Media” report, issued by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, concluded. “CNN is not really more trusted than Fox, or ABC than NBC. The local paper is not viewed much differently than the New York Times.” Vastly more Americans believe in flying saucers and 9/11 conspiracy theories than believe in the notion of balanced—much less “objective”—mainstream news media. Nearly nine in ten Americans, according to the Sacred Heart study, say that the media consciously seek to influence public policies, though they disagree about whether the bias is liberal or conservative.

    I loved this passage. Sad, but somewhat true.
  11. Ben_Hecht

    Ben_Hecht Active Member

    Because more and more people are much more informed/sophisticated about the concept of "spin". They may disagree on case-by-case interpretations, but
    neverending "spin" attempts are uppermost in the minds of many, many folks.
  12. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I thought there was a lot of good, interesting stuff in there, much of it new to me at least.
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