Friday, February 03, 2006

I meant to link to ...

... this post on Power Line the other day, but got caught up with other things -- which happens in this job: Newspapers Fight Back. Money quote:

At the end of the day, of course, there is no doubt that commentary sites like this one and aggregators like Google and Yahoo rely on other media to do original news gathering. Ultimately, the newspapers and other news media who fulfill this function need to develop a business model that will work in an era of mostly electronic communication. If they don't, the demand for raw news will be filled by someone else.

My own feeling. for what it's worth, is that a mere electronic version of the newspaper will not work in the log run. What will work is rethinking the concept of newspapers in electronic-specific terms. A blog, for instance, shouldn't be thought of merely as a newspaper column online. Why? Because a newspaper column is not interactive in the way that a successful blog is.


  1. Deciding the MSM are being killed of by bloggers is too simpleminded.

    There are two things doing it in and together they make a perfect storm.

    First of all the decline of authority in the printed media. When we get so arrogant that we get FORCED to make corrections an earlier generation of editors would have been madder about than the general public, we are clipping the corners of our own currency.

    The graceless and arrogant behavior of CBS in the Rather/Bush papers is a classic, so was the NYT on the Judith Miller affair etc.

    So MSM are not seen as indispensable anymore nor necessarily the ultimate authority.

    Add to that the lousy education the last generation has received makes reading a chore not a habit. And yet today's Thursday NYT is the size of the Sunday NYT a generation ago.

    The kids want the Burger King formula... they want the news "Our Way" and don't accept the editorial ideal of a newspaper ambition to present a full assembly of what WE say is news... "without fear or favor"

    So the web direction is the ultimate destination. And it is pretty easy to see a drastic reevaluation is needed to decide what print customers will continue to pay for.

    But we don't arrive at that destination faster by arrogant denial

  2. I am not surprised that someone whose Web name harks back to Alcuin of York would be unimpressed by current educational practices. They don't impress me, either. Many of the educational problems these days derive from the assumption that learning must always be fun. So tedious practices like recitation and memorization have to go by the boards. Still, I have encountered some surprisingly well read kids in my job -- who can also write pretty well. And I think the resistance to the news gatekeepers is a good thing.
    The point you make about the graceless and arrogant behavior of the MSM is certainly well taken. And I think you have hit on something really important: Two groups -- the kids and the MSM -- want the news "their" way, only the two ways aren't at all the same.