Friday, September 17, 2010

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, it must be . . .

College newspapers aggressively covers administration. Administration faces election fights. Newspaper told it can't print until obtaining "proper approval" for its printing contract. But it's not censorship, just "a purchasing problem."

Basically that's where things stand for the college newspaper at Southwestern College near San Diego. I guess I'm cynical, but it'll be interesting to see how quickly after the Nov. 2 election the college -- which last year suspended four faculty members for protesting budget cuts -- clears up the "purchasing problem."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Where do young people get their news?

From "The Colbert Report," "The Daily Show," and The New York Times. That's only part of a large Pew Research report on the news. You can find a digest here. The full report's here.

Very interesting report with lots of ramifications for media folks.

Readers' Digest plans 24 new products

Readers' Digest, having cut back on its print products, has plans to expand its online offerings greatly, along with some new print publications.

It'll be interesting to see how successful this will be. The company says it will "return to its roots" in producing material for a "family-centered" audience. I, as a long-time reader who scrapped the magazine in recent years due to the decline of its content, remain skeptical. This, like National Geographic or The New Yorker, was a magazine that was perfect to read at my pace -- and in print. But the editors fell into the "gotta speed up our readers" mantra that's spoiled so many magazines, filling them with short, breezy, uninteresting items designed for those who "don't have time to read." Hey, folks! Your product is a magazine. People like to spend time with magazines.

Monday, September 13, 2010

More Americans getting news than in recent years

With more ways to get news, Pew reports, more Americans are watching/reading/visiting news sites than any time in the past decade. Heartening news, indeed, for those of us who care.

British media go after Murdoch empire

British media has uncovered a huge scandal in Rupert Murdoch's British empire. His media properties, according to press reports, used private detectives and illegal means to assemble dossiers on British politicians and others.

The Guardian links Murdoch influence to all parties who have controlled Great Britain's political reins for the past 30 years. It said, "Murdoch is a problem for British society and the News of the World phone-hacking story – given further impetus over the last 10 days by the New York Times and the Guardian – is a symptom of the chronic malignity of his power" in a story basically claiming that Murdoch's empire threatens British democracy.

Let's see if American media will challenge Murdoch's power (Fox News, Fox News Channel, Wall Street Journal among others). Seems like a scandal waiting to happen over here as well (somehow, I can't imagine that Murdoch operates differently here than overseas.