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Tag Archives: journalism

OK, I know I vacillate between anger and depression when it comes to the general state of news media, but that doesn’t mean I have any tolerance for my friends who still complain about it. Sorry folks, I have no patience for the reporter who wants to go cover Obama when he rolls into L.A., only to be told by editors that’s what wire services are for. And the guy who wants to do an in-depth story about the history of Taco Trucks in California but gets told by editors to go cover a robbery instead? Forget about it, buddy. These are tough times that have no patience for the faint of heart. (Boy, I sure hope my friends don’t visit my blog).

But I can leave my grumpiness behind when I see a good piece of news, like the one I discovered today just as I was resigning myself to only write about grumpiness.

Benjamin Cardin, an elightened senator from Maryland, introduced on Tuesday the “Newspaper Revitalization Act,” a bill that would allow newspapers to restructure as non-profits and potentially give them a second chance at life. The bill still needs to get co-sponsors and naturally, any takers. But hey, the fact that the plight of newspapers has reached such august heights says something about who’s paying attention. That makes me feel good, at least for this week.

Peter Drucker, considered by some the creator and inventor of modern management, described in a book published in 1974 how the Japanese process of decision making is based on first defining what the problem is. Maybe top newspaper managers should get a copy.

Last week, a group of top executives launched “The Newspaper Project,” a campaign to promote the value of newspapers and share tips on how to survive in tough times. The project includes an ad blitz to set the record straight about the importance of their print product.

But just like media guru Ken Doctor notes in his blog, I wonder if these execs aren’t barking at the wrong tree. It’s not that readers don’t value newspapers, it’s that they can get the information they provide for free so they don’t have to bother with a subscription. People still value news, but the forms of delivery have changed so dramatically that execs are still running from cover. And judging by the grumpy postings of Alexandre Gamela, they still don’t get it.