Thursday, September 17, 2009

Newspaper stocks jump on good advertising news

All it takes is a little good news about advertising and newspaper stocks jump in value. It comes after several "good news" stories about the industry and its revenues.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Should we create the "hate" beat? Opportunities knock

An Ad Age columnist has a little fun with a proposal to set up a new news beat, the "hate beat," but, frankly, it's not funny in any respect. First is the fact that the media should start looking seriously at "hate" in America, and whether media actions are encouraging (obviously) or facilitating (I think so) hate.

He suggests setting up a "hate sports" beat. Frankly, it already exists. Look at for examples of hating sportswriting and broadcasting. And all you have to do is turn on white talk radio or most of the evening cable hosts to see "hate politics" in action. Hate is a big topic these days, only no one will touch it. I wonder if the reason is fear? After all, Howard Kurtz reports today how Glen Beck drove a White House aide out the door without any media amplification (or revealing to his audience the aide's connection to a campaign that has cost Beck loads of sponsors). So the lesson is that if you lead a campaign against any of the hate talkers, they'll get you. Sounds like a beat to me.

Second is the argument that those wanting to succeed in media (listen up, students) should start creating their own beats. This is the era of the journalist entrepreneur. And, frankly, covering hate in America is a good place to start. The media had better come up with subjects to cover that people want to know about.

Will Hulu kill television?

Analyst says Hulu will wipe out television broadcasting. Analyst Laura Martin says it's cannibalizing audience from broadcast, and that's not going to change. She also says the coming switch from broadcast and cable to Internet viewing will hasten adoption of Web-based viewing and, most important, that "we don't expect the Internet audience to ever put up with as many commercials as there are on TV."

Of course, Hulu was set up by television folks who are allowing their shows to be viewed on the site, reminding me way too much of newspapers blindly giving their content to their free web sites.

What are all these shiny MBAs being taught about supply and demand, anyway?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Coverage of religion among losses of current ills

Interesting story on a Boston Globe blog from a meeting of religion reporters about how their numbers are dwindling fast, and how that is opening the door for organized religion to push its messages without filtering. Unfortunately, that's seemingly true about almost all areas of news coverage. The losers are not just news consumers, but our society itself. Journalism, and, yes, it can be objective, is needed in a democracy.

National newspapers to replace big local publications?

One of the advantages of the Internet is that we can now read foreign press in real time, often finding news about ourselves as well as garnering that all-important outsider view of our culture. Today's Guardian from Great Britain offers a story that might be far more important than it seems.

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, according to the Guardian, plan local editions in the San Francisco area since it's entirely possible that city's big local papers will die out. The strategy is aimed at the hardest-hit segment of the newspaper market, the big local paper (like the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). National newspapers and community newspapers are suffering a bit, along with the rest of the economy, but the big local papers are really hurting.

This strategy -- and, if it's successful, look for USA Today to relaunch its '90s effort to create local papers to accompany the national one -- is yet another sign that some in the newspaper world aren't giving up on those of us who like print.