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Press

Lessons from a Digital Newspaper Now Making Money

In late April, I wrote about The Media’s ‘Post-Advertising’ Future (advertising’s not enough to sustain publications, subscriptions will prove necessary for most publications, and “[t]he key lesson for publishers is to offer sharp (and sometimes sharp-tongued) writing, to see that content is king”).  (A word about FREE WHITEWATER.  This website accepts no advertising, requires no…

The Media’s ‘Post-Advertising’ Future

Nationally and locally, the media (whether profit or non-profit) continue their significant transformation: the decline of print, the rise of (interactive) digital media, and the collapse of a middle-of-the-road partnership of boosterism between mediocre newspapers and middling officials. Print’s doomed, and so is digital that merely repeats the same banal style of contemporary print. Traditional…

Clever? Not Really…

One reads that the Daily Union, a local paper chasing alleged embezzlement first reported in the Janesville Gazette, has decided to grab the story and add a supposedly clever headline: Honest to goodness, how does editor Chris Spangler expect ordinary people to keep up with a subtle headline like that? One needs to take a…

The Middle Lane is a Dirt Road to Decay, Pt. 2

Last month, this site linked to media critic Margaret Sullivan’s observation that The media feel safest in the middle lane. Just ask Jeff Flake, John Kasich and Howard Schultz: Who is the media’s middle-lane approach actually good for? Not the public, certainly, since readers and viewers would benefit from strong viewpoints across the full spectrum…

Hedge Funds Have No Table Manners Whatever

Brian Stelter writes Gannett journalists anxious amid report that Digital First Media is circling the company: Cara Lombardo’s unsettling Sunday night scoop for the WSJ: “A hedge-fund-backed media group known for buying up struggling local papers and cutting costs is planning to make an offer for USA Today publisher Gannett, according to people familiar with the…

‘A Free Press Needs You’

Following Trump’s repeated attacks on the press as the enemy of the people, hundreds of publications across America are today uniting in a defense of their right to free expression. The editorial board of the New York Times, in A Free Press Needs You, describes our heritage and the threat to it: In 1787, the…

Detained, Unaccompanied Minors Discouarged from Talking About Their Conditions

Exclusive: Unaccompanied children are cautioned not to speak with reporters about their situation pic.twitter.com/kE3fiMV7FD — Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) June 26, 2018 “If for whatever reason you talk to a reporter, you know what’s going to happen to your case?” the woman is heard saying in Spanish. “It is going to be on the news, and…

Before Devin Nunes, in Whitewater & Small Towns Across America…

One reads that GOP Congressman Devin Nunes of California has launched his own news site: LOS ANGELES — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a relentless critic of the media, has found a way around the often unflattering coverage of his role in the Trump-Russia investigation — by operating his own partisan news outlet. Resembling…

Small-Town News and “The Value of Accuracy”

Over at The Atlantic, David Beard writes about The Libraries Bringing Small-Town News Back to Life. The story’s not, to my mind, a recommendation that Whitewater’s library should publish a news site – Whitewater has digital and print publications in town and nearby. The story’s interesting for how important accuracy is to news publishing: When…

Reading Next: Truth Decay (‘An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life’)

I’m currently reading Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury on the Trump campaign & administration. (FW has a currently reading widget on the right sidebar of this website.) Afterward, I’ve something in queue, from Jennifer Kavanagh and Michael D. Rich – their just-published Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis…

Twilight (Part 1 of a Series)

One reads that the Janesville Gazette is activating a full-site paywall (three free articles a month, day pass for a dollar, Facebook comment authorization, etc.). The stated reason is that the Gazette needs money (“Digital advertising and marketing don’t generate enough revenue to cover the expenses of our local journalism”). A few observations: 1. Private…

‘Don’t worry about them – the rest of us feel great!

A doctor walks into a town of one-hundred people, and finds that half of them are pale, feverish, and vomiting blood. The physician calls out to a community leader, “Send for help, you have an epidemic on your hands.” The community leader replies, “Oh no, don’t worry about them – the rest of us feel…