Saturday, July 22, 2006

What is the fate of the great old newspapers, anyway?

Pretty sad to read an article like this. It's a month old, but, since The Star is hot on the topic of who owns what in the Newspaper industry right now, it may be prescient after all.

It would be sad to see a paper like the New York Times go. Or the Los Angeles Times.
A newspaper is "its history" and that is all there is to say.

A newspaper is a tangible manifestation of the ghosts of everyone who ever was there, making sure it came out. Anybody who has ever worked in the industry knows what I mean by this.

Would you like to see just ONE corporation putting out the news? Worldwide? Nationwide? Statewide? Citywide?

I don't think so. Although I'm quite certain a few people in the industry might like that idea just fine. People have become so concerned with "brand" in the last few decades, haven't they?

But, what is "brand" costing the American people? What is it costing them intellectually?

What if a giant corporation like Wal-Mart (just to use an example) was responsible for your news, and your daily paper too. What do you think the content might be like if this were the case?

Would there still be a place for all of the diverse voices that make up the American newspaper?

It's food for thought isn't it.

Personally, I don't shop at places like Wal-Mart. We don't have one here anyway. I prefer going to a wide variety of places when I need to purchase things. Contemporary "targeted" branding just doesn't work for me at all.

We have one huge mall on the outskirts of town with those kinds of stores.

I, however, like the littlest stores, though, because I like the people who work in them.

So that's where I shop, when I need to. Think boutique.

I know which newspapers are famous for which things too. So, if I want a New York Times on a Sunday, or a San Francisco Chronicle I buy one. I read the Los Angeles Times every day and have for years. I never miss my weekly Santa Barbara Independent. Want to know why? It's the writing!

Do you think readers here are going to accept canned generic news and nothing of interest to read? I don't think so. This is Socal.

Since when did American newsprint become a commodity?

So, since I founded The Star, I get to choose who and what I feel like advertising. Guess what? It's going to be very fun as it all comes together. I think I'll advertise books my friends are writing! (What a concept!) And, they won't have to pay either.


As far as comments go here, feel free to leave them as you wish. The blog will be attached to the main newspaper I am creating, as feedback, and a social network for the community who reads it. I have chosen Blogger initially for the blog because people can be anonymous if they need to be. It may shift to a model like LAObserved uses later. If you want to see a state of the art journalist it's Kevin Roderick, and the links off his blog are great as well.
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