Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Little Competition's a Good Thing, Right?

Not if you ask Obama's administration. Here's what moonbat Rosa Brooks, formerly of the LA Times, and now working for you in the Pentagon, said about her idea of providing a bailout for newspapers:
Brooks said this would help rescue the industry from a "death spiral" and left the government unaccountable to the journalists who must keep it honest. "[I] can't imagine anything more dangerous than a society in which the news industry has more or less collapsed," she wrote.
OK, a little Economics 101 for this dipshit. The fact that newspapers are going out of business does not mean that society is not getting news. Nor does it mean that we won't uncover government corruption. We're just not getting these efforts from "journalists" in the print business.

I had this discussion this past weekend. As more and more people get their news online (and I mean news, not opinion), less and less newsprint and ink will be needed. If you follow baseball and wonder at 10pm whether the Rangers won, what do you do? You can turn on the radio and hope for a score in 15 minutes or so. You can turn on ESPN. You can look up the score on the website of Major League Baseball (the fastest way to get this info). In years gone by, you would have had to wait until the morning's paper to find out the score. Now, since you can get the info immediately, there's no need to read the sports page. If you read or or others, you get information faster. You might not get analysis, but you'll get raw news. (You do get analysis...I was kidding about that part.) Today, as younger workers use only cell phones (no landlines) and are always on the web, they don't need the paper --- they get all this info online. My son doesn't read the printed Dallas News, but he'll skim it online.

So Ms. Brooks is boo-hooing the loss of jobs at the Times. Yawn. I would prefer to have the raw news, faster, and do my own analysis, thank you. I think this is what the traditional media types don't get. They are so used to serving up the news in a daily format that they just don't understand how an always-on medium can wipe them out. And their blinders prevent them from seeing it sneak up on them until it's too late -- someone else has staked out an online presence that rivals the newspapers' delivery. And they've taken the paper's advertisers with them onto the web.

Just think about this blog entry. I'm a sales guy, but you're reading an analysis from me about why the print media are going downhill. This doesn't mean I'm right or that I'm better than the LA Times. I'm just giving my opinion, with a few facts thrown in there. You must think. I know - scary.

This idea that if we don't have a newspaper and Woodward and Bernstein around, then government will run amok, is a bunch of crap (I always wanted to write "run amok"!). We've replaced time-consuming investigative journalism with real-time, always-on fact reporting. Time will tell if it will be as effective. I think it will be. Why?

Well, think about Paul Potts and Susan Boyle. Go ahead -- Google them -- I'll wait. Notice that I didn't provide links. I thought maybe you knew how to search.

Now that you're back, you can see how someone can become an immediate sensation. Not overnight, but within a few hours! News used to be a business where reporters went into harm's way to report and build a name for themselves. Wow, they were willing to risk their lives to bring you the story -- it must be true then! (I separate these slime from today's embedded bloggers. Today's embeds are mostly former military going back to give you the inside scoop, and I love their type of reporting. They've been there and know how to keep their heads down, thereby not putting a bodyguard in as much danger.) Then they'd move back to NY and work their way up to the anchor chair. (Sound familiar? It's Dan Rather-tell-a-lie's story.)

Today, we have so many people who want to make a name for themselves, and monetize this fame, that we have MORE people investigating government than we've ever had. I submit this makes for more honest government. More eyeballs on these scum in Washington means they can't get away with as much in the way of shenanigans. They'll figure out how to make a living reporting like that. I have faith in capitalism!

Now, before you say, "but what about all those jobs lost as the papers fold"? Hell, go get a different job. Learn a new skill. I have a relative who is a sales guy, and was laid off 3 weeks ago. He's also a licensed engineer. Now he has two industries that he can look for work in. He's in better shape than I am (in more ways than one). He's not working because he chooses to be unemployed. There are jobs out there, but just not ones that he wants to take -- yet.

My point is...creative destruction is as work, and we're lamenting it...but you just watch all of the wealth that's created in the next 5 years as folks move to new jobs in new industries (some new for them, some new to the economy). We should welcome it. In the big picture it's what keeps our economy vibrant. Yes, some folks suffer through unemployment for a while. But overall the economy gets stronger, and we have support systems in place to make sure folks don't starve. They might lose their homes, but that's a risk they took when they bet the economy would always rise and they didn't save money for that rainy day. Kinda like playing the lottery...lots of losers, only one winner each time.

As for "reporters" such as Ms. What's-her-name: Good Riddance. Wait...except now my tax dollars are paying her to write her lamentia (a peculiar form of journalistic dementia). She has no pressure to compete and get a new skill. So she's going to use the one she's not very good at over at the Pentagon to write about Obama and his brilliance.

Crap...screwed up in reverse.

H/T story


Anonymous said...

I have always (well, maybe not in the womb, but soon thereafter) been averse to the idea of purchasing printed media - newspapers, magazines, etc - that contain more advertisements than news articles. Isn't THAT what those entities sell ad's for in the first place - to support the publication of their respective rags? Now, I'm not in print-ad sales or the news biz, so I won't claim to know much about that vertical's economic engine. But I AM an authority on where my beleagured dollars go, and I stopped purchasing print publications years ago because I could not work the logic of paying for a volume of advertising with a smattering of news thrown in! I hate to think that I and militant, wacko tree-huggers are standing on the same side, here, but it is PURELY incidental...

Texan in Wisconsin said...

You are looking at this with your head between your in, upside down.

The news is delivered to you in a newspaper for a nominal fee (25c or $1, whatever your paper costs). The advertisers pay most of the expenses for the printing presses, the ink, the reporters, etc. If you had to pay for all of that for just a sheet with news on it, you'd pay $10 a day.

So your appetite for news is sated by advertisers who are willing to pay to place their ads right next to the picture of the car crash, hoping that they'll catch your eye while you're looking at the upside-down car.

It works the same way with television. We bitch about all of the commercials during "24", but those advertisers pay the bills.

"If it bleeds, it leads" is an old newspaper expression.

Anonymous said...

The news is delivered to you in a newspaper for a nominal fee (25c or $1, whatever your paper costs).



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