The real reason the news business is in trouble…

Too many Americans would rather watch Paris Hilton or learn about Anna Nicole Smith.

How do I know that? Cause there is a reason why CNN and Fox kept playing AnnaNews all day long a few weeks back. They do focus groups. They know what people are watching and just how much of something they are watching.

All the discussion today about whether newspapers are dead or aren’t won’t solve that one.

Today’s top headline in the local paper? Above everything else? Foodblogging.

Is that REALLY the most important thing in the world today? Hell, I’m a blog evangelist and even I don’t think that if you really pressed me on it.

Comments

  1. Sir – I too wonder about that state of our times, when so much air time and ink has been wasted on a “person who is famous for being famous”. Meanwhile the big issues are being ignored or buried in the back pages of newspapers and in the case of TV, regulated to PBS/BBC/CBC . ( PS I detest CNN/Fox and other similar junk-tv. PPS when traveling i make a point of protesting that we travelers should not have to be exposed to noise from CNN on Airport TVs. When I demand that they switch to BBC or CBC or PBS they look at me with a blank stare. …Bet they are not allowed to change channels ’cause I bet CNN pays a fee)
    Society is going to hell in a hand-basket. And so it goes…

  2. Sir – I too wonder about that state of our times, when so much air time and ink has been wasted on a “person who is famous for being famous”. Meanwhile the big issues are being ignored or buried in the back pages of newspapers and in the case of TV, regulated to PBS/BBC/CBC . ( PS I detest CNN/Fox and other similar junk-tv. PPS when traveling i make a point of protesting that we travelers should not have to be exposed to noise from CNN on Airport TVs. When I demand that they switch to BBC or CBC or PBS they look at me with a blank stare. …Bet they are not allowed to change channels ’cause I bet CNN pays a fee)
    Society is going to hell in a hand-basket. And so it goes…

  3. Sir – I too wonder about that state of our times, when so much air time and ink has been wasted on a “person who is famous for being famous”. Meanwhile the big issues are being ignored or buried in the back pages of newspapers and in the case of TV, regulated to PBS/BBC/CBC . ( PS I detest CNN/Fox and other similar junk-tv. PPS when traveling i make a point of protesting that we travelers should not have to be exposed to noise from CNN on Airport TVs. When I demand that they switch to BBC or CBC or PBS they look at me with a blank stare. …Bet they are not allowed to change channels ’cause I bet CNN pays a fee)
    Society is going to hell in a hand-basket. And so it goes…

  4. When I was in journalism school back in the late 70s, they taught us to be objective and report the facts. I think the main problem with news these days is that there is nowhere to go for objective fact. The Democrats say something does such and such and the Republicans will say the exact opposite. Reporters go back and forth between the spinners instead of seeking out the facts and then making each side stay accountable to reality.

    I think more than anything, people are sick of newspapers and networks pushing an agenda and churning up discourse rather than reporting hard news.

  5. When I was in journalism school back in the late 70s, they taught us to be objective and report the facts. I think the main problem with news these days is that there is nowhere to go for objective fact. The Democrats say something does such and such and the Republicans will say the exact opposite. Reporters go back and forth between the spinners instead of seeking out the facts and then making each side stay accountable to reality.

    I think more than anything, people are sick of newspapers and networks pushing an agenda and churning up discourse rather than reporting hard news.

  6. “Cause there is a reason why CNN and Fox kept playing AnnaNews all day long a few weeks back”

    yes – it’s called making money and networks apparently struggle to make money on news shows anyway.

    How can we believe therefore that news shows are taking their responsibilities seriously if there’s a chance their ‘news’ delivery decisions are based on responsibilities to shareholders? Just because many kids will happily sit in front of an xbox 360 all day doesn’t mean that’s the best thing for them.

    I hate to hear the “giving them what they want thing” from the media like it’s the public’s fault and the media has no responsibility.

    Did you see the AP experiment of withholding Paris Hilton news for a while? No-one cared. So even though it may be preferred, it’s not necessarily missed.

  7. “Cause there is a reason why CNN and Fox kept playing AnnaNews all day long a few weeks back”

    yes – it’s called making money and networks apparently struggle to make money on news shows anyway.

    How can we believe therefore that news shows are taking their responsibilities seriously if there’s a chance their ‘news’ delivery decisions are based on responsibilities to shareholders? Just because many kids will happily sit in front of an xbox 360 all day doesn’t mean that’s the best thing for them.

    I hate to hear the “giving them what they want thing” from the media like it’s the public’s fault and the media has no responsibility.

    Did you see the AP experiment of withholding Paris Hilton news for a while? No-one cared. So even though it may be preferred, it’s not necessarily missed.

  8. When I was in journalism school back in the late 70s, they taught us to be objective and report the facts. I think the main problem with news these days is that there is nowhere to go for objective fact. The Democrats say something does such and such and the Republicans will say the exact opposite. Reporters go back and forth between the spinners instead of seeking out the facts and then making each side stay accountable to reality.

    I think more than anything, people are sick of newspapers and networks pushing an agenda and churning up discourse rather than reporting hard news.

  9. “Cause there is a reason why CNN and Fox kept playing AnnaNews all day long a few weeks back”

    yes – it’s called making money and networks apparently struggle to make money on news shows anyway.

    How can we believe therefore that news shows are taking their responsibilities seriously if there’s a chance their ‘news’ delivery decisions are based on responsibilities to shareholders? Just because many kids will happily sit in front of an xbox 360 all day doesn’t mean that’s the best thing for them.

    I hate to hear the “giving them what they want thing” from the media like it’s the public’s fault and the media has no responsibility.

    Did you see the AP experiment of withholding Paris Hilton news for a while? No-one cared. So even though it may be preferred, it’s not necessarily missed.

  10. @3: that’s right. news departments are now expected to be profit centers just like the entertainment departments. and media corporations are mostly run by people who came up through the entertainment business. that’s just how they think. it’s not that different from blogger-types who care only about the stuff they can easily measure: eyeballs and clicks.

    news departments used to be staffed by and run by people who care primarily about news. no longer.

  11. @3: that’s right. news departments are now expected to be profit centers just like the entertainment departments. and media corporations are mostly run by people who came up through the entertainment business. that’s just how they think. it’s not that different from blogger-types who care only about the stuff they can easily measure: eyeballs and clicks.

    news departments used to be staffed by and run by people who care primarily about news. no longer.

  12. @3: that’s right. news departments are now expected to be profit centers just like the entertainment departments. and media corporations are mostly run by people who came up through the entertainment business. that’s just how they think. it’s not that different from blogger-types who care only about the stuff they can easily measure: eyeballs and clicks.

    news departments used to be staffed by and run by people who care primarily about news. no longer.

  13. I was chasing some protest shots near Bush’s ranch in 2005. One of the photographers in the Airforce One traveling photo pool was there (actually several of them were there). We got to talking while we waited for a photo to happen. I had shot next to him several times so we sort of knew each other. In the course of some small talk it came up that he was leaving for California to do celebrity photo work. He said that was where the money is… in the resale value. I had just gone freelance so I felt a little disheartened by his choice to abandon the idealism of photojournalism.

    Now, I am about to enter a graduate photojournalism program in the fall. With all the debate on the future of journalism I am wondering how I can best tailor a moderatly progressive old journalism education to best fit the changing profession. I think the fact that I am approaching my MA with a critical eye for what is outdated will allow me to get the most out what they have to offer. Wish me luck.

  14. I was chasing some protest shots near Bush’s ranch in 2005. One of the photographers in the Airforce One traveling photo pool was there (actually several of them were there). We got to talking while we waited for a photo to happen. I had shot next to him several times so we sort of knew each other. In the course of some small talk it came up that he was leaving for California to do celebrity photo work. He said that was where the money is… in the resale value. I had just gone freelance so I felt a little disheartened by his choice to abandon the idealism of photojournalism.

    Now, I am about to enter a graduate photojournalism program in the fall. With all the debate on the future of journalism I am wondering how I can best tailor a moderatly progressive old journalism education to best fit the changing profession. I think the fact that I am approaching my MA with a critical eye for what is outdated will allow me to get the most out what they have to offer. Wish me luck.

  15. I was chasing some protest shots near Bush’s ranch in 2005. One of the photographers in the Airforce One traveling photo pool was there (actually several of them were there). We got to talking while we waited for a photo to happen. I had shot next to him several times so we sort of knew each other. In the course of some small talk it came up that he was leaving for California to do celebrity photo work. He said that was where the money is… in the resale value. I had just gone freelance so I felt a little disheartened by his choice to abandon the idealism of photojournalism.

    Now, I am about to enter a graduate photojournalism program in the fall. With all the debate on the future of journalism I am wondering how I can best tailor a moderatly progressive old journalism education to best fit the changing profession. I think the fact that I am approaching my MA with a critical eye for what is outdated will allow me to get the most out what they have to offer. Wish me luck.

  16. Media today is crap, really. I watched our 11pm news last night for the first time in months. First 7 stories were about murder, rape, a car accident, murder trial, Iraq War (soldier’s dying), child porn and a gas explosion inside a home. My God, is that all they can report – destruction, violence, hate? I didn’t finish the newcast. Instead, spent the last 20 minutes in front of my computer getting the news I want in the way I want from the sources I want – and the weather. Probably saw 5x as much news in the 20 minutes on my computer than I would have on the tv. No commercials. And best yet, I got to choose the news I wanted to hear about.

    And truthfully, I don’t care about Anna Nicole, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Brad & Angelina, or Tom & Katie’s baby. I want news, not stories about celebrities. To me, they are seldom news.

  17. Media today is crap, really. I watched our 11pm news last night for the first time in months. First 7 stories were about murder, rape, a car accident, murder trial, Iraq War (soldier’s dying), child porn and a gas explosion inside a home. My God, is that all they can report – destruction, violence, hate? I didn’t finish the newcast. Instead, spent the last 20 minutes in front of my computer getting the news I want in the way I want from the sources I want – and the weather. Probably saw 5x as much news in the 20 minutes on my computer than I would have on the tv. No commercials. And best yet, I got to choose the news I wanted to hear about.

    And truthfully, I don’t care about Anna Nicole, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Brad & Angelina, or Tom & Katie’s baby. I want news, not stories about celebrities. To me, they are seldom news.

  18. Media today is crap, really. I watched our 11pm news last night for the first time in months. First 7 stories were about murder, rape, a car accident, murder trial, Iraq War (soldier’s dying), child porn and a gas explosion inside a home. My God, is that all they can report – destruction, violence, hate? I didn’t finish the newcast. Instead, spent the last 20 minutes in front of my computer getting the news I want in the way I want from the sources I want – and the weather. Probably saw 5x as much news in the 20 minutes on my computer than I would have on the tv. No commercials. And best yet, I got to choose the news I wanted to hear about.

    And truthfully, I don’t care about Anna Nicole, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Brad & Angelina, or Tom & Katie’s baby. I want news, not stories about celebrities. To me, they are seldom news.

  19. It is the emotional hook that drives most of these sensational stories. The challenge for news orgs is to leak a dramatic narative (emotional hook) to hard news. Also maybe hard news is called hard for a reason. The people are mainly interested in stories about people. Getting them interested in stories about policy and facts has been a centuries old problem. Thought leaders and change agents are the ones most interested in hard news, the folk..not so much.

  20. It is the emotional hook that drives most of these sensational stories. The challenge for news orgs is to leak a dramatic narative (emotional hook) to hard news. Also maybe hard news is called hard for a reason. The people are mainly interested in stories about people. Getting them interested in stories about policy and facts has been a centuries old problem. Thought leaders and change agents are the ones most interested in hard news, the folk..not so much.

  21. It is the emotional hook that drives most of these sensational stories. The challenge for news orgs is to leak a dramatic narative (emotional hook) to hard news. Also maybe hard news is called hard for a reason. The people are mainly interested in stories about people. Getting them interested in stories about policy and facts has been a centuries old problem. Thought leaders and change agents are the ones most interested in hard news, the folk..not so much.

  22. Nah. The answer is plainer than that I think. Their burn rate is too high. Cut the burn rate down to match revenue and they’ll be just fine. Most of the staff will have to be freelancers and outsourcing QA will become a key factor.

  23. Nah. The answer is plainer than that I think. Their burn rate is too high. Cut the burn rate down to match revenue and they’ll be just fine. Most of the staff will have to be freelancers and outsourcing QA will become a key factor.

  24. Nah. The answer is plainer than that I think. Their burn rate is too high. Cut the burn rate down to match revenue and they’ll be just fine. Most of the staff will have to be freelancers and outsourcing QA will become a key factor.

  25. heh, I had a similar reaction when I passed by a newsrack for the SF Chronicle yesterday:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/03/25/MNGV9ORDSH1.DTL

    It’s an interesting article, though… the ability to make junk news has been democratized, from professional media campaigns like Cindy Sheehan, out to inidividuals casually bad-talking restaurants. “Social media” just shows us more of what “traditional media” was actually made of.

    I’m with Dawud Miracle — we can learn more by hunting out news and comparing sources today, than we could when we were passively force-fed news from just a few professional storytelling sources.

  26. heh, I had a similar reaction when I passed by a newsrack for the SF Chronicle yesterday:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/03/25/MNGV9ORDSH1.DTL

    It’s an interesting article, though… the ability to make junk news has been democratized, from professional media campaigns like Cindy Sheehan, out to inidividuals casually bad-talking restaurants. “Social media” just shows us more of what “traditional media” was actually made of.

    I’m with Dawud Miracle — we can learn more by hunting out news and comparing sources today, than we could when we were passively force-fed news from just a few professional storytelling sources.

  27. heh, I had a similar reaction when I passed by a newsrack for the SF Chronicle yesterday:
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/03/25/MNGV9ORDSH1.DTL

    It’s an interesting article, though… the ability to make junk news has been democratized, from professional media campaigns like Cindy Sheehan, out to inidividuals casually bad-talking restaurants. “Social media” just shows us more of what “traditional media” was actually made of.

    I’m with Dawud Miracle — we can learn more by hunting out news and comparing sources today, than we could when we were passively force-fed news from just a few professional storytelling sources.

  28. At another blog, someone commented in a thread that he doesn’t read newspapers because they add too much “noise” to his life.

  29. At another blog, someone commented in a thread that he doesn’t read newspapers because they add too much “noise” to his life.

  30. At another blog, someone commented in a thread that he doesn’t read newspapers because they add too much “noise” to his life.

  31. RS
    The same people that say Newspapers are dead said Amazon will be the death of Wal Mart. Wal Mart is doing badly but not because of Amazon.

    MSM will do badly not because of citizen bloggers or user generated news, they will evolve because they cannot deal with a changing business environment when they are stuck with their old ways of making money.

  32. RS
    The same people that say Newspapers are dead said Amazon will be the death of Wal Mart. Wal Mart is doing badly but not because of Amazon.

    MSM will do badly not because of citizen bloggers or user generated news, they will evolve because they cannot deal with a changing business environment when they are stuck with their old ways of making money.

  33. RS
    The same people that say Newspapers are dead said Amazon will be the death of Wal Mart. Wal Mart is doing badly but not because of Amazon.

    MSM will do badly not because of citizen bloggers or user generated news, they will evolve because they cannot deal with a changing business environment when they are stuck with their old ways of making money.

  34. And this so-called New Media Citizen Journalism is thriving? Ask a Ninja then…

    The news always has spikes, and it’s a daily numbers-game mantra, once ratings cool, they move on. Lots of people like celebrity “non-news”, to them that’s news, heck even on the net, Perez Hilton is huge. Some go more for the finance news, others wartime news, some world events, still others pure local news. It varies from person to person. Shouldn’t judge, just serve it up — raw, rare, medium or well-done. When people aren’t watching, then it’s not news, then and only then.

  35. And this so-called New Media Citizen Journalism is thriving? Ask a Ninja then…

    The news always has spikes, and it’s a daily numbers-game mantra, once ratings cool, they move on. Lots of people like celebrity “non-news”, to them that’s news, heck even on the net, Perez Hilton is huge. Some go more for the finance news, others wartime news, some world events, still others pure local news. It varies from person to person. Shouldn’t judge, just serve it up — raw, rare, medium or well-done. When people aren’t watching, then it’s not news, then and only then.

  36. And this so-called New Media Citizen Journalism is thriving? Ask a Ninja then…

    The news always has spikes, and it’s a daily numbers-game mantra, once ratings cool, they move on. Lots of people like celebrity “non-news”, to them that’s news, heck even on the net, Perez Hilton is huge. Some go more for the finance news, others wartime news, some world events, still others pure local news. It varies from person to person. Shouldn’t judge, just serve it up — raw, rare, medium or well-done. When people aren’t watching, then it’s not news, then and only then.

  37. Watching the “news” (cable or network, doesn’t matter which) is one of those activities that leave you more stupid than when you started.

    Its pretty obvious to most people who are not video junkies that TV news is no different than TV anything. TV news is all about making money, period.

    On a broad scale, the “news” is not about truth, lies, education, misinformation, morality or immorality. Whatever makes the network the most money is what will get the airplay, period.

    Of course, it is a sad commentary on the low state of our nation that the networks feel they have to pander to our base instincts in order to make money, but that is another story.

  38. Watching the “news” (cable or network, doesn’t matter which) is one of those activities that leave you more stupid than when you started.

    Its pretty obvious to most people who are not video junkies that TV news is no different than TV anything. TV news is all about making money, period.

    On a broad scale, the “news” is not about truth, lies, education, misinformation, morality or immorality. Whatever makes the network the most money is what will get the airplay, period.

    Of course, it is a sad commentary on the low state of our nation that the networks feel they have to pander to our base instincts in order to make money, but that is another story.

  39. Watching the “news” (cable or network, doesn’t matter which) is one of those activities that leave you more stupid than when you started.

    Its pretty obvious to most people who are not video junkies that TV news is no different than TV anything. TV news is all about making money, period.

    On a broad scale, the “news” is not about truth, lies, education, misinformation, morality or immorality. Whatever makes the network the most money is what will get the airplay, period.

    Of course, it is a sad commentary on the low state of our nation that the networks feel they have to pander to our base instincts in order to make money, but that is another story.

  40. I’ve seen lots of food blogs and I do not understand it. Is food that interesting or possibly do food blogs sell lots of ads. The media has nothing to do with information now. The point of the media is selling a product, though I wonder was that always the point.

    Lo

  41. I’ve seen lots of food blogs and I do not understand it. Is food that interesting or possibly do food blogs sell lots of ads. The media has nothing to do with information now. The point of the media is selling a product, though I wonder was that always the point.

    Lo

  42. I’ve seen lots of food blogs and I do not understand it. Is food that interesting or possibly do food blogs sell lots of ads. The media has nothing to do with information now. The point of the media is selling a product, though I wonder was that always the point.

    Lo

  43. @8: The problem with both newspapers, and “TV” is one of bandwidth. Yes, there is mindless junk on the Internet, but even if 99.9 percent of the Internet is mindless junk, you can ignore it all and still not have enough time in the day to read/view the valuable .1 percent. On the other hand there is only so much stuff broadcast each day on TV. You could come close to watching all news coverage (the all news outlets have a tendency to have an hours worth of coverage that just repeats in a loop throughout the day. Newspapers are worse. Most of them have all the headlines you are likely to be interested in on the first few pages. The rest of the paper is continuation of those articles and fluff pieces that they generate regularly to serve as “filler”. Nothing wrong with stories on home decor of course, but it’s not news. Only the Internet has so much stuff that even if you want to be totally informed on a single topic (global warming, modular housing, laser recording technologies) there is a good chance you won’t be able to keep up with it all.

    We can count on the Internet becoming just as mindlessly meaningless as the mainstream media and we can count on companies who want to target ad to idiots (wouldn’t you if you had a product that really sucked?) but unlike TV and Newspapers, the Internet won’t “fill up” with such things. Be thankful.

  44. @8: The problem with both newspapers, and “TV” is one of bandwidth. Yes, there is mindless junk on the Internet, but even if 99.9 percent of the Internet is mindless junk, you can ignore it all and still not have enough time in the day to read/view the valuable .1 percent. On the other hand there is only so much stuff broadcast each day on TV. You could come close to watching all news coverage (the all news outlets have a tendency to have an hours worth of coverage that just repeats in a loop throughout the day. Newspapers are worse. Most of them have all the headlines you are likely to be interested in on the first few pages. The rest of the paper is continuation of those articles and fluff pieces that they generate regularly to serve as “filler”. Nothing wrong with stories on home decor of course, but it’s not news. Only the Internet has so much stuff that even if you want to be totally informed on a single topic (global warming, modular housing, laser recording technologies) there is a good chance you won’t be able to keep up with it all.

    We can count on the Internet becoming just as mindlessly meaningless as the mainstream media and we can count on companies who want to target ad to idiots (wouldn’t you if you had a product that really sucked?) but unlike TV and Newspapers, the Internet won’t “fill up” with such things. Be thankful.

  45. @8: The problem with both newspapers, and “TV” is one of bandwidth. Yes, there is mindless junk on the Internet, but even if 99.9 percent of the Internet is mindless junk, you can ignore it all and still not have enough time in the day to read/view the valuable .1 percent. On the other hand there is only so much stuff broadcast each day on TV. You could come close to watching all news coverage (the all news outlets have a tendency to have an hours worth of coverage that just repeats in a loop throughout the day. Newspapers are worse. Most of them have all the headlines you are likely to be interested in on the first few pages. The rest of the paper is continuation of those articles and fluff pieces that they generate regularly to serve as “filler”. Nothing wrong with stories on home decor of course, but it’s not news. Only the Internet has so much stuff that even if you want to be totally informed on a single topic (global warming, modular housing, laser recording technologies) there is a good chance you won’t be able to keep up with it all.

    We can count on the Internet becoming just as mindlessly meaningless as the mainstream media and we can count on companies who want to target ad to idiots (wouldn’t you if you had a product that really sucked?) but unlike TV and Newspapers, the Internet won’t “fill up” with such things. Be thankful.

  46. )

    The problem with using parenthesis for parenthetical expressions (as I love to do) is that when you miss one it really stands out. I think I’ll make a New Years resolution to switch to commas (eventually).

  47. )

    The problem with using parenthesis for parenthetical expressions (as I love to do) is that when you miss one it really stands out. I think I’ll make a New Years resolution to switch to commas (eventually).

  48. )

    The problem with using parenthesis for parenthetical expressions (as I love to do) is that when you miss one it really stands out. I think I’ll make a New Years resolution to switch to commas (eventually).

  49. Lo Fleming said: “The point of the media is selling a product”

    I’d disagree a bit… I think media organizations actually sell an audience, to groups which are selling a product, piece of legislation, or whatever.

    They’re selling your attention. They’re pretty skilled at it, too.

  50. Lo Fleming said: “The point of the media is selling a product”

    I’d disagree a bit… I think media organizations actually sell an audience, to groups which are selling a product, piece of legislation, or whatever.

    They’re selling your attention. They’re pretty skilled at it, too.

  51. Lo Fleming said: “The point of the media is selling a product”

    I’d disagree a bit… I think media organizations actually sell an audience, to groups which are selling a product, piece of legislation, or whatever.

    They’re selling your attention. They’re pretty skilled at it, too.

  52. Robert,

    I agree with you on print media like papers; they’re dead and don’t even know it (although some do).

    The reason they are dead is because they are static. I can see an issue online at, say, Yahoo News, and then get updates online about that same issue as they occur. In addition, I can check several sources for that same bit of news and decide for myself how true/untrue a given piece of news is. Moreover, with Internet news, I can subscribe to multiple feeds from multiple news sources and not be tied down to one author or the authors of a particular paper.

    Viva la Internet…

  53. Robert,

    I agree with you on print media like papers; they’re dead and don’t even know it (although some do).

    The reason they are dead is because they are static. I can see an issue online at, say, Yahoo News, and then get updates online about that same issue as they occur. In addition, I can check several sources for that same bit of news and decide for myself how true/untrue a given piece of news is. Moreover, with Internet news, I can subscribe to multiple feeds from multiple news sources and not be tied down to one author or the authors of a particular paper.

    Viva la Internet…

  54. Robert,

    I agree with you on print media like papers; they’re dead and don’t even know it (although some do).

    The reason they are dead is because they are static. I can see an issue online at, say, Yahoo News, and then get updates online about that same issue as they occur. In addition, I can check several sources for that same bit of news and decide for myself how true/untrue a given piece of news is. Moreover, with Internet news, I can subscribe to multiple feeds from multiple news sources and not be tied down to one author or the authors of a particular paper.

    Viva la Internet…

  55. “in trouble”? By who’s standards? As long as these news outlets are getting viewers and making money they won’t see a problem. Despite what many think of Fox News, for some reason they are kicking everyone’s ass. So, I rather doubt they view themselves as being “in trouble”

  56. “in trouble”? By who’s standards? As long as these news outlets are getting viewers and making money they won’t see a problem. Despite what many think of Fox News, for some reason they are kicking everyone’s ass. So, I rather doubt they view themselves as being “in trouble”

  57. “in trouble”? By who’s standards? As long as these news outlets are getting viewers and making money they won’t see a problem. Despite what many think of Fox News, for some reason they are kicking everyone’s ass. So, I rather doubt they view themselves as being “in trouble”

  58. @22: CNN and Fox may not be in trouble NOW, but these old media companies are making adjustments such as laying people off, cutting back coverage on a daily basis.

    This trend isn’t all that new by the way. Newspapers were hurt by TV, talk radio and all-news radio made a surprise comeback for radio in general, but iPods and satellite receivers have eaten into music stations.

    It may not matter that much while second tier outlets suffer (San Jose Mercury News) but New York Times and Washington Post generate original content used by many other papers, so when they cut back there is a ripple effect.

    There was a recent dust-up over seating arrangements for the White House press corp. I don’t remember any bloggers being mentioned. If you want to ask a question in that room you have to work for one of the MSM companies still.

    But these big companies are hurting, regardless of which ones “kick the ass” of which other ones. (Those are relative rating numbers, not profits.) The New York Times loses money I think, and they have a stock holders revolt on their hands at every annual meeting lately. The house hasn’t collapsed yet, but we are certainly hearing a lot of creaking sounds we didn’t hear before.

  59. @22: CNN and Fox may not be in trouble NOW, but these old media companies are making adjustments such as laying people off, cutting back coverage on a daily basis.

    This trend isn’t all that new by the way. Newspapers were hurt by TV, talk radio and all-news radio made a surprise comeback for radio in general, but iPods and satellite receivers have eaten into music stations.

    It may not matter that much while second tier outlets suffer (San Jose Mercury News) but New York Times and Washington Post generate original content used by many other papers, so when they cut back there is a ripple effect.

    There was a recent dust-up over seating arrangements for the White House press corp. I don’t remember any bloggers being mentioned. If you want to ask a question in that room you have to work for one of the MSM companies still.

    But these big companies are hurting, regardless of which ones “kick the ass” of which other ones. (Those are relative rating numbers, not profits.) The New York Times loses money I think, and they have a stock holders revolt on their hands at every annual meeting lately. The house hasn’t collapsed yet, but we are certainly hearing a lot of creaking sounds we didn’t hear before.

  60. @22: CNN and Fox may not be in trouble NOW, but these old media companies are making adjustments such as laying people off, cutting back coverage on a daily basis.

    This trend isn’t all that new by the way. Newspapers were hurt by TV, talk radio and all-news radio made a surprise comeback for radio in general, but iPods and satellite receivers have eaten into music stations.

    It may not matter that much while second tier outlets suffer (San Jose Mercury News) but New York Times and Washington Post generate original content used by many other papers, so when they cut back there is a ripple effect.

    There was a recent dust-up over seating arrangements for the White House press corp. I don’t remember any bloggers being mentioned. If you want to ask a question in that room you have to work for one of the MSM companies still.

    But these big companies are hurting, regardless of which ones “kick the ass” of which other ones. (Those are relative rating numbers, not profits.) The New York Times loses money I think, and they have a stock holders revolt on their hands at every annual meeting lately. The house hasn’t collapsed yet, but we are certainly hearing a lot of creaking sounds we didn’t hear before.

  61. MacBeach: If you are going to compare the internet with anything, it would be more appropriate to compare it with the electromagnetic part of the frequency spectrum or the supply of newsprint and blank paper. All are just places to store and convey information. Comparing something like newspapers or TV shows with “the internet” doesn’t wash.

    I think you’d get an argument from a lot of people, including newspaper readers, that everything but the first few pages are filler and fluff. Things like sports, business, weather, local news, lifestyle, etc., are in newspapers because people read them. Newspapers know what people read, and they know the percentage of their ad revenue that comes from each page of the paper. So do their advertisers. Something may strike you as fluff, but, trust me, someone else turns to it first. Example: my local weekly has an entire section devoted to high school sports and activities. Why? Because thousands of soccer moms read it. The ads on those pages reflect that.

    The primary problem facing newspapers is cost, and that situation predates the internet. Newsprint isn’t cheap, and it’s been getting more costly for years. Staff costs, i.e., health and retirement, have increased just as they have everywhere else. Ad rates have to be kept down because advertisers have so many other alternatives. Add in the reality that most people don’t want to spend more than 10-15 minutes a days taking in the news, if at all — and it’s hard times for newspapers. Most people don’t see the Internet as an expense, even though they’re paying the cable company $45 a month for it.

  62. MacBeach: If you are going to compare the internet with anything, it would be more appropriate to compare it with the electromagnetic part of the frequency spectrum or the supply of newsprint and blank paper. All are just places to store and convey information. Comparing something like newspapers or TV shows with “the internet” doesn’t wash.

    I think you’d get an argument from a lot of people, including newspaper readers, that everything but the first few pages are filler and fluff. Things like sports, business, weather, local news, lifestyle, etc., are in newspapers because people read them. Newspapers know what people read, and they know the percentage of their ad revenue that comes from each page of the paper. So do their advertisers. Something may strike you as fluff, but, trust me, someone else turns to it first. Example: my local weekly has an entire section devoted to high school sports and activities. Why? Because thousands of soccer moms read it. The ads on those pages reflect that.

    The primary problem facing newspapers is cost, and that situation predates the internet. Newsprint isn’t cheap, and it’s been getting more costly for years. Staff costs, i.e., health and retirement, have increased just as they have everywhere else. Ad rates have to be kept down because advertisers have so many other alternatives. Add in the reality that most people don’t want to spend more than 10-15 minutes a days taking in the news, if at all — and it’s hard times for newspapers. Most people don’t see the Internet as an expense, even though they’re paying the cable company $45 a month for it.

  63. MacBeach: If you are going to compare the internet with anything, it would be more appropriate to compare it with the electromagnetic part of the frequency spectrum or the supply of newsprint and blank paper. All are just places to store and convey information. Comparing something like newspapers or TV shows with “the internet” doesn’t wash.

    I think you’d get an argument from a lot of people, including newspaper readers, that everything but the first few pages are filler and fluff. Things like sports, business, weather, local news, lifestyle, etc., are in newspapers because people read them. Newspapers know what people read, and they know the percentage of their ad revenue that comes from each page of the paper. So do their advertisers. Something may strike you as fluff, but, trust me, someone else turns to it first. Example: my local weekly has an entire section devoted to high school sports and activities. Why? Because thousands of soccer moms read it. The ads on those pages reflect that.

    The primary problem facing newspapers is cost, and that situation predates the internet. Newsprint isn’t cheap, and it’s been getting more costly for years. Staff costs, i.e., health and retirement, have increased just as they have everywhere else. Ad rates have to be kept down because advertisers have so many other alternatives. Add in the reality that most people don’t want to spend more than 10-15 minutes a days taking in the news, if at all — and it’s hard times for newspapers. Most people don’t see the Internet as an expense, even though they’re paying the cable company $45 a month for it.

  64. I read an article awhile back that had cnn’s front page, and they had blacked out all of the ads, photos and celebrity stories, it literally left 12% for actual news related content. I know people are saying newspapers are on their way out, and I agree, I haven’t read one in ages, but the online news sites, I frequent MSNBC and CNN the most, are really half news, half tabloid these days. I saw a front page story about Keith Richards dad a few months ago…how in the world does a celebrity’s relative make the front page of a world wide news site?

  65. I read an article awhile back that had cnn’s front page, and they had blacked out all of the ads, photos and celebrity stories, it literally left 12% for actual news related content. I know people are saying newspapers are on their way out, and I agree, I haven’t read one in ages, but the online news sites, I frequent MSNBC and CNN the most, are really half news, half tabloid these days. I saw a front page story about Keith Richards dad a few months ago…how in the world does a celebrity’s relative make the front page of a world wide news site?

  66. I read an article awhile back that had cnn’s front page, and they had blacked out all of the ads, photos and celebrity stories, it literally left 12% for actual news related content. I know people are saying newspapers are on their way out, and I agree, I haven’t read one in ages, but the online news sites, I frequent MSNBC and CNN the most, are really half news, half tabloid these days. I saw a front page story about Keith Richards dad a few months ago…how in the world does a celebrity’s relative make the front page of a world wide news site?

  67. Food blogging….Actually, I totally see why this resonates. I know you were probably being arbitrary, but I’m a foodie and am obsessed with cooking and anything that I can eat. That’s what’s great about blogs — you can write about your passions.

    Damn, now I’m hungry again…

  68. Food blogging….Actually, I totally see why this resonates. I know you were probably being arbitrary, but I’m a foodie and am obsessed with cooking and anything that I can eat. That’s what’s great about blogs — you can write about your passions.

    Damn, now I’m hungry again…

  69. Food blogging….Actually, I totally see why this resonates. I know you were probably being arbitrary, but I’m a foodie and am obsessed with cooking and anything that I can eat. That’s what’s great about blogs — you can write about your passions.

    Damn, now I’m hungry again…

  70. Robert – Print media has infuriated and amused me for a long time, especially because I’ve been a CFO, the guy responsible for putting together objective information about a company for leaders of the company to view. That’s why our company, Webster Systems, built a product called Data360. Our view is that if the newspapers can’t make an objective presentation of what’s happening in the world (the important things), then we might as well. You can check it out at http://www.data360.org. Some really cool features will be coming in a couple weeks, so please don’t judge us on one viewing. We view this as a work in progress to spread the view that objectivity and reality (about important things) matters. Best regards, Tom

  71. Robert – Print media has infuriated and amused me for a long time, especially because I’ve been a CFO, the guy responsible for putting together objective information about a company for leaders of the company to view. That’s why our company, Webster Systems, built a product called Data360. Our view is that if the newspapers can’t make an objective presentation of what’s happening in the world (the important things), then we might as well. You can check it out at http://www.data360.org. Some really cool features will be coming in a couple weeks, so please don’t judge us on one viewing. We view this as a work in progress to spread the view that objectivity and reality (about important things) matters. Best regards, Tom

  72. Robert – Print media has infuriated and amused me for a long time, especially because I’ve been a CFO, the guy responsible for putting together objective information about a company for leaders of the company to view. That’s why our company, Webster Systems, built a product called Data360. Our view is that if the newspapers can’t make an objective presentation of what’s happening in the world (the important things), then we might as well. You can check it out at http://www.data360.org. Some really cool features will be coming in a couple weeks, so please don’t judge us on one viewing. We view this as a work in progress to spread the view that objectivity and reality (about important things) matters. Best regards, Tom

  73. I just did a short two week informal study on CNN. Click my name to read the results. Basically, I found that entertainment (celebrity) news was almost always the most popular news despite not being the “lead” news. The media is going to report what we are interested in and we have shown we read the news to be entertained, not informed.

  74. I just did a short two week informal study on CNN. Click my name to read the results. Basically, I found that entertainment (celebrity) news was almost always the most popular news despite not being the “lead” news. The media is going to report what we are interested in and we have shown we read the news to be entertained, not informed.

  75. I just did a short two week informal study on CNN. Click my name to read the results. Basically, I found that entertainment (celebrity) news was almost always the most popular news despite not being the “lead” news. The media is going to report what we are interested in and we have shown we read the news to be entertained, not informed.

  76. Thank you!! Man, I was wondering if it was my imagination, but CNN and Fox News are getting really annoying with their nonstop Anna Nicole coverage. Great, so what makes her death more interesting and important than the 3000 deaths of Americans in Iraq?

    The worst offender is Nancy Grace who seemed to have dedicated a whole week to digging into this not-so-interesting story. I mean, cmon. Newsflash: limelight public figure with a penchant for the wild life OD’s on drugs. Wow, that’s news!!

  77. Thank you!! Man, I was wondering if it was my imagination, but CNN and Fox News are getting really annoying with their nonstop Anna Nicole coverage. Great, so what makes her death more interesting and important than the 3000 deaths of Americans in Iraq?

    The worst offender is Nancy Grace who seemed to have dedicated a whole week to digging into this not-so-interesting story. I mean, cmon. Newsflash: limelight public figure with a penchant for the wild life OD’s on drugs. Wow, that’s news!!

  78. Thank you!! Man, I was wondering if it was my imagination, but CNN and Fox News are getting really annoying with their nonstop Anna Nicole coverage. Great, so what makes her death more interesting and important than the 3000 deaths of Americans in Iraq?

    The worst offender is Nancy Grace who seemed to have dedicated a whole week to digging into this not-so-interesting story. I mean, cmon. Newsflash: limelight public figure with a penchant for the wild life OD’s on drugs. Wow, that’s news!!

  79. Not everyone wants to know about Paris Hilton or Anna Nicole Smith. I was pretty perturbed about the coverage of her death. I don’t care about it. I’m more interested in what is going on in the world and my home. Yet Fox seems to think I’d rather watch a funeral procession and yip yap on a has been that never was model that overdosed.

  80. Not everyone wants to know about Paris Hilton or Anna Nicole Smith. I was pretty perturbed about the coverage of her death. I don’t care about it. I’m more interested in what is going on in the world and my home. Yet Fox seems to think I’d rather watch a funeral procession and yip yap on a has been that never was model that overdosed.

  81. Not everyone wants to know about Paris Hilton or Anna Nicole Smith. I was pretty perturbed about the coverage of her death. I don’t care about it. I’m more interested in what is going on in the world and my home. Yet Fox seems to think I’d rather watch a funeral procession and yip yap on a has been that never was model that overdosed.

  82. I haven’t had time to read all the comments, so apologies in advance if I’m repeating what someone else has said. As someone who has actually been a print journalist, I thought I would bring the insights that come from that experience to the discussion.

    First of all, Scoble is wrong in thinking that newspapers’ problems began with the Internet. Much of what ails newspapers has been ailing them for decades. That would include the cost of newsprint, difficulty distributing newspapers as populations become increasingly suburban and exurban while highway driving becomes increasingly slow and congested, competition for ad dollars, and, an an audience that is comparatively semiliterate and unsophisticated. (I’ll leave it to others to decide whether American audiences also have poor taste and short attention spans.)

    I don’t think I ever worked for a newspaper that did not have hiring freezes and layoffs even 15-20 years ago. There’s nothing new about that. Mergers are old hat, too.

  83. I haven’t had time to read all the comments, so apologies in advance if I’m repeating what someone else has said. As someone who has actually been a print journalist, I thought I would bring the insights that come from that experience to the discussion.

    First of all, Scoble is wrong in thinking that newspapers’ problems began with the Internet. Much of what ails newspapers has been ailing them for decades. That would include the cost of newsprint, difficulty distributing newspapers as populations become increasingly suburban and exurban while highway driving becomes increasingly slow and congested, competition for ad dollars, and, an an audience that is comparatively semiliterate and unsophisticated. (I’ll leave it to others to decide whether American audiences also have poor taste and short attention spans.)

    I don’t think I ever worked for a newspaper that did not have hiring freezes and layoffs even 15-20 years ago. There’s nothing new about that. Mergers are old hat, too.

  84. I haven’t had time to read all the comments, so apologies in advance if I’m repeating what someone else has said. As someone who has actually been a print journalist, I thought I would bring the insights that come from that experience to the discussion.

    First of all, Scoble is wrong in thinking that newspapers’ problems began with the Internet. Much of what ails newspapers has been ailing them for decades. That would include the cost of newsprint, difficulty distributing newspapers as populations become increasingly suburban and exurban while highway driving becomes increasingly slow and congested, competition for ad dollars, and, an an audience that is comparatively semiliterate and unsophisticated. (I’ll leave it to others to decide whether American audiences also have poor taste and short attention spans.)

    I don’t think I ever worked for a newspaper that did not have hiring freezes and layoffs even 15-20 years ago. There’s nothing new about that. Mergers are old hat, too.

  85. First, just to get it out of the way, people are NOT famous for being famous. People are famous for “being famous” are really famous for SEX. They are famous for looking sexy, being sexy, dressing sexy, having sexy videos, having sexy pictures and / or even sexy audio.

    Anna Nicole Smith (big-breasted former centerfold), Britney Spears (breakout music video had her in a mini-skirted Catholic schoolgirl outfit, scantily clad on the cover of Rolling Stones as a dress-up doll), Paris Hilton (online sex video), Pamela Anderson (well-endowed Baywatch star who got national prominence with an early online sex video), et. al.

    As for newspapers, people are interested in what they care about. Ratings spiked in the Anna Nicole Smith story not because people were interested in the news, they were interested in sex, sexy pictures and videos that the news networks always put onscreen. It wasn’t news it was entertainment.

    Just like the judge, Sideling(?), who was entertaining. Roe Conn, a local talk radio host, does a killer impersonation of the voice that’s hysterical.

    Speaking of entertainment, that’s what the news has increasingly become. The target demographic for tv news and cable news who are actually interested in news, in information, simply go online. So that leaves entertainment, news reporters being funny or angry or funnily angry (ala Stephen Colbert or Bill O’Reilly) or angrily funny (ala Lewis Black or Keith Olbermann). Or syrupily compassionate ala the flood of newsmagzines and “morning (news/talk/variety) shows” interviewing someone who has gone thru some traumatic and being asked “How do you feel?” or various variation thereof (e.g. “What was your reaction?”, “What’s your take?”, “What’s your impressions?”, etc.).

    If you want people to watch or read the news, then report on stuff they care about–or EXPLAIN WHY THEY SHOULD CARE, as in how it affects them. And here’s a concept, show NEW news, not merely repeat the same story and call it “news” or worse “breaking news” (like the same news story is “breaking” for an hour or two or three or four).

    As for the news BUSINESS, I think the problem is that news is too small a fish in giant oceans. The Powers That Be over them no longer are the maverick millionaire newspaper owners who cared about the news as a craft but executive who’s only interest and relationship with the news is a single line in an accounting report or a single entry in some electronic spreadsheet. Maybe if the news was a third or even a quarter of the whole business it belonged to then at least those in charge would care or at least know about news other than its profit and loss. Maybe.

    – Ken from Chicago

    P.S. Also focus helps, targeting a niche market and not trying to be all things to all people.

  86. First, just to get it out of the way, people are NOT famous for being famous. People are famous for “being famous” are really famous for SEX. They are famous for looking sexy, being sexy, dressing sexy, having sexy videos, having sexy pictures and / or even sexy audio.

    Anna Nicole Smith (big-breasted former centerfold), Britney Spears (breakout music video had her in a mini-skirted Catholic schoolgirl outfit, scantily clad on the cover of Rolling Stones as a dress-up doll), Paris Hilton (online sex video), Pamela Anderson (well-endowed Baywatch star who got national prominence with an early online sex video), et. al.

    As for newspapers, people are interested in what they care about. Ratings spiked in the Anna Nicole Smith story not because people were interested in the news, they were interested in sex, sexy pictures and videos that the news networks always put onscreen. It wasn’t news it was entertainment.

    Just like the judge, Sideling(?), who was entertaining. Roe Conn, a local talk radio host, does a killer impersonation of the voice that’s hysterical.

    Speaking of entertainment, that’s what the news has increasingly become. The target demographic for tv news and cable news who are actually interested in news, in information, simply go online. So that leaves entertainment, news reporters being funny or angry or funnily angry (ala Stephen Colbert or Bill O’Reilly) or angrily funny (ala Lewis Black or Keith Olbermann). Or syrupily compassionate ala the flood of newsmagzines and “morning (news/talk/variety) shows” interviewing someone who has gone thru some traumatic and being asked “How do you feel?” or various variation thereof (e.g. “What was your reaction?”, “What’s your take?”, “What’s your impressions?”, etc.).

    If you want people to watch or read the news, then report on stuff they care about–or EXPLAIN WHY THEY SHOULD CARE, as in how it affects them. And here’s a concept, show NEW news, not merely repeat the same story and call it “news” or worse “breaking news” (like the same news story is “breaking” for an hour or two or three or four).

    As for the news BUSINESS, I think the problem is that news is too small a fish in giant oceans. The Powers That Be over them no longer are the maverick millionaire newspaper owners who cared about the news as a craft but executive who’s only interest and relationship with the news is a single line in an accounting report or a single entry in some electronic spreadsheet. Maybe if the news was a third or even a quarter of the whole business it belonged to then at least those in charge would care or at least know about news other than its profit and loss. Maybe.

    – Ken from Chicago

    P.S. Also focus helps, targeting a niche market and not trying to be all things to all people.

  87. First, just to get it out of the way, people are NOT famous for being famous. People are famous for “being famous” are really famous for SEX. They are famous for looking sexy, being sexy, dressing sexy, having sexy videos, having sexy pictures and / or even sexy audio.

    Anna Nicole Smith (big-breasted former centerfold), Britney Spears (breakout music video had her in a mini-skirted Catholic schoolgirl outfit, scantily clad on the cover of Rolling Stones as a dress-up doll), Paris Hilton (online sex video), Pamela Anderson (well-endowed Baywatch star who got national prominence with an early online sex video), et. al.

    As for newspapers, people are interested in what they care about. Ratings spiked in the Anna Nicole Smith story not because people were interested in the news, they were interested in sex, sexy pictures and videos that the news networks always put onscreen. It wasn’t news it was entertainment.

    Just like the judge, Sideling(?), who was entertaining. Roe Conn, a local talk radio host, does a killer impersonation of the voice that’s hysterical.

    Speaking of entertainment, that’s what the news has increasingly become. The target demographic for tv news and cable news who are actually interested in news, in information, simply go online. So that leaves entertainment, news reporters being funny or angry or funnily angry (ala Stephen Colbert or Bill O’Reilly) or angrily funny (ala Lewis Black or Keith Olbermann). Or syrupily compassionate ala the flood of newsmagzines and “morning (news/talk/variety) shows” interviewing someone who has gone thru some traumatic and being asked “How do you feel?” or various variation thereof (e.g. “What was your reaction?”, “What’s your take?”, “What’s your impressions?”, etc.).

    If you want people to watch or read the news, then report on stuff they care about–or EXPLAIN WHY THEY SHOULD CARE, as in how it affects them. And here’s a concept, show NEW news, not merely repeat the same story and call it “news” or worse “breaking news” (like the same news story is “breaking” for an hour or two or three or four).

    As for the news BUSINESS, I think the problem is that news is too small a fish in giant oceans. The Powers That Be over them no longer are the maverick millionaire newspaper owners who cared about the news as a craft but executive who’s only interest and relationship with the news is a single line in an accounting report or a single entry in some electronic spreadsheet. Maybe if the news was a third or even a quarter of the whole business it belonged to then at least those in charge would care or at least know about news other than its profit and loss. Maybe.

    – Ken from Chicago

    P.S. Also focus helps, targeting a niche market and not trying to be all things to all people.

  88. I agree with you very much. Actually, I’m writing a persuasive essay on the topic. If you know of any good websites where I could find more info about this subject, pls let me know!
    Thanks,
    Toni, student in Alabama

  89. I agree with you very much. Actually, I’m writing a persuasive essay on the topic. If you know of any good websites where I could find more info about this subject, pls let me know!
    Thanks,
    Toni, student in Alabama

  90. I agree with you very much. Actually, I’m writing a persuasive essay on the topic. If you know of any good websites where I could find more info about this subject, pls let me know!
    Thanks,
    Toni, student in Alabama

  91. The problem with the news media is they do not report the news they spin it over and over for profits and commercial saturation. They work the emotional itch of the television bound populace. Their news casters are now Pope's giving the mass at saint peters. The spin tends play to the corporate advertises platform. Never would the corporate media enhance the principles that make Americans free and independent they continue to promote our victim status as they ingrain the slow subtle message that enslaves our souls and bodies into an increasingly impotent, mass of addicted , the price is right , viagra dependent, cowardly ,fa,consumers.

  92. The problem with the news media is they do not report the news they spin it over and over for profits and commercial saturation. They work the emotional itch of the television bound populace. Their news casters are now Pope's giving the mass at saint peters. The spin tends play to the corporate advertises platform. Never would the corporate media enhance the principles that make Americans free and independent they continue to promote our victim status as they ingrain the slow subtle message that enslaves our souls and bodies into an increasingly impotent, mass of addicted , the price is right , viagra dependent, cowardly ,fa,consumers.