Friday, March 11, 2005

"I'd like to buy a clue, please"

I was reading this article about the mainstream media lamenting their loss of readers/viewers and a couple of paragraphs struck me:


Goldberg, the executive editor of the Mercury News, a paper that rose to national prominence with its territory, Silicon Valley, and slipped back, many think, when its owners seemed to put profits before vigorous journalism, spoke at the National College Newspaper Convention two weeks ago, and read out fainter heartbeat numbers: "More than 80 percent of adults read a daily newspaper 40 years ago. Thirty years ago that had fallen to 72 percent. Twenty years ago, it was 65 percent. Ten years ago, it was 61 percent. Last year, it was hovering just above 50 percent."

You don't have to be Price-Waterhouse to figure out what that means: Change and survival are synonymous right now for many journals and journalistic operations. "We all either will embrace change," said Seib, "or get run over by it."

Goldberg played with some of the ideas out there, ideas that would remake or create a new "mainstream" press, telling the student editors that it was their destiny to reinvent: "Maybe the answer is bilingual newspapers ... Maybe it's news blogs that update all day and automatically download to your iPod ... Maybe we should arm reporters with video and audio equipment so the papers' Web sites can broadcast what they are doing as it happens ... Or allow readers to subscribe only to certain sections of the paper ... Or let them post and publish their own news."

Does that "just above 50%" figure sound familiar to any of you?

Did anyone notice what Ms. Goldberg left out of her possible solutions?

George Bush won the election last November with...just above 50% of the vote.

And completely lacking in Ms. Goldberg's list of possible solutions to the problem is possibly hiring people who represent the huge number of people who have cancelled their subscriptions, i.e. Conservatives.

But it never crosses the minds of these people that large numbers of people just got so sick of the liberal message being shoved down their throats that they bailed out and now get their news elsewhere.

It's just that easy, but it's too complicated for a liberal.

- The Exile

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