Saturday, September 20, 2008

Facts aren't always believed, study finds

A Duke University study found that even if the media corrects misstatements, the public isn't likely to believe. So much for all the like groups.

Minnesota drops charges against media

Following the pattern established the past few years of mass arrests, including media, at political events followed by dropping charges, Minnesota has decided it's not going to charge any of the media people (including Democracy Now's Amy Goodman) who were arrested at the Republican National Convention.

As I mention every once and a while in class, the anti-press ploy in the 1960s was merely to tear gas we media types who were covering events. It's moved now to arresting anyone attempting to cover demonstrations. Then, they get released later when the charges are dropped. So far the City of New York has paid more than $2 million to settle lawsuits arising from the 2004 convention (media arrests were only a few among the thousands arrested there). I'm sure we'll read tiny stories about taxpayers settling lawsuits from this year's conventions and phony arrests during the campaign, and four years from now will see more arrests, then dropped charges, etc.

How to sink a newspaper

Arkansas publisher tells editorial writers that newspapers are following a failed business model in giving all their content away free on the Internet. His newspaper, which puts only news on the net, has gained subscribers the past decade.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Crain's says Tribune redesign ready for next week

Crain's Chicago Business reports the redesign for the new Chicago Tribune will be next week with the newspaper consolidating from five daily sections to three. The redesigned front page, Crain's reports, will be heavy on photos (or, at least, one very large dominant photo) with fewer stories. Also gone is the Sunday Perspective section, which didn't draw much advertising, only readers and they apparently don't count any more to clueless newspaper executives.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Does print media matter in this election?

That's the intriguing title used by the New York Observer for an exploration of the topic. The answer, like so much else in this fast-changing media world, is . . . it depends. As Frank Rich of the New York Times says, there is no one reporter setting the agenda. But it's clear that the print media retains much of its influence. Still, as Newsweek's Jonathan Alter says, the stories are burning out much quicker now. This sometimes is a bad thing, according to Jim VanderHei of, in that some stories that deserve more consideration get moved ahead as the news cycle moves on. He says his political website now thinks in terms of winning the hour, not winning the day. So the pressure to move on becomes almost irresistible for both websites and cable television networks.