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Tag Archives: new media

We have a class called “Reporting on Decisions” where we have listened to an array of journalists — experts in their field — telling us how bad coverage in their respective fields is and has been in mainstream media almost forever. KC Cole deplored coverage of George Bush’s decisions to put politics above science, Bill Celis told us how deficient coverage was of a major education reform landmark in Texas, and Sasha Anawalt showed us how the L.A. Times missed the boat on the MOCA meltdown.
That was just the beginning. Then we then heard from our own colleages, specialized students who are becoming experts in their fields and who analyzed media coverage of an important decision. The result has been eye openning, although not altogether unexpected. Media is for the most part shallow and deficient in its reporting: it fails to place important decisions in context and fails to provide adequate explanations.

For a long time I’ve been feeling sad about the demise of newspapers as we know them, but the more I see these presentations, and the more I think about it, perhaps it’s not such a bad thing after all.

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Does Ashton have as big of a voice as the entire team of CNN? Seriously? Can a former model and mediocre actor have the moxie of 4,000 news professionals, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all over the world?

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Apparently, Ashton seems to think that his voice is just as important as the media powerhouse based on the number of tweellowers he’s got: both are racing to see who reaches one million first.

Yeah, it’s come to this.

I’m one of those ludites still trying to figure out the chatter on twitter, and seeing items like this does not help. Are news just becoming a popularity contest? Don’t laugh, it’s a real question. Are personalities egos that overblown that they imagine they can compete with a real news operations? Or are they going to get special ratings for the number of bored teenagers who want to learn every bit about Ashton’s life? Oprah just called. Had nightmares about Ted Turner. A+ is the best grade U can get. I know a blogger that could use a Backpfeifengesicht.

Hey, that one is kinda cool. 🙂

If somebody had told me a year ago I would be adopting this point of view today, I would have said ‘you are out of your pinche mind.’

Well, maybe I am. But I don’t think so.

I’m sure you all have seen the most recent brouhaha at our venerable and quickly sinking L.A. Times. This katzenjammer was provoked by an ad on the front page of the paper that was cleverly “disguised” as a news story.

Boy, oh boy. Have you no pride, L.A. Times executives? Why are you shamelessly trying to sell this sacrosant product with shameless vulgarity on its once pure front page?

Sorry, I can’t help it. Are we not understanding yet that this product is DYING, that is on LIFE SUPPORT and that it needs a lifeline more than balsero stranded outside the Keys? What is it that we need to read or hear to understand that the old rules of newspaper production no longer apply? There are no sacred cows in this business any longer, and the sooner we all come to grips with how much the industry needs to change, the better off we’ll all be.That way we can stop the whinning and the purer-than-that attitude.

Newspapers are losing money in the millions probably every day. Companies have to renegotiate their massive debts. Venerable institutions are closing. People are losing their jobs. And we’re getting our pants in a tizzy because there’s a lousy ad on the front page of the paper? Honestly, what are you people smoking?

The media revolution is so profound and so far reaching that we all need to be prepared to do things we never though of before. Along with embracing new technologies, we need to have completely new attitudes. We’re not in Kansas anymore.

I’m going to be very honest here. Well, I’m typically very honest (sometimes to my detriment) but I felt the need to clarify.

This posting is the equivalent of double-dipping.

I got an assignment for another class to  write on my blog (and this is the only one I have) and talk about three of my favorite blogs. And because this blog is about the media, i figure the blogs I should praise have to be on media as well.

Number one: Ken Doctor’s Content Bridges. I like him because he’s knowledgeable and right on. And I agree with him.

Number two: Alan Mutter’s Reflections of a Newsosaur. Usually a good predictor of bankruptcies and debt defaults.

Number three: Alexandre Gamela’s O Lago/The Lake: Grouchy, irreverent, well informed and forward looking. If I weren’t married I’d ask him out on a date.

Wendy Carrillo, an astute woman in the masters of specialized journalism program, wisely pointed out how the nature of one of our recent cyber-discussions was focusing now not on what’s wrong with the newsmedia, but how to fix it.

Although I initially dismissed her comments, I must confess I’ve had a change of heart. Maybe it was Walter Isaacson’s piece in Time,  or maybe is a collective sign of desperation as we see the water continues to rise and now it’s up our chins. In any case, the lively debate about Isaacson’s proposal and other solutions is alive and well in the internet. Ken Doctor has a very good post about it, and so does Neusosaur. If we keep churning out ideas, something’s bound to become butter.

Immigrants tried to give the United States a taste of what the country would be like without them, and now newspapers may follow suit.

I stumbled onto this intriguing post by  TJ Sullivan,who’s pushing for newspapers to stop uploading their contents unto the web for one whole week so the public gets a taste of what the world would be like without them.

Immigrants couldn’t really pull it off, but they made a valiant effort. It will be interesting to see this idea take off.

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.