Thursday, November 4, 2010

Journalism and Andrew Breitbart -- they shouldn't be used in the same sentence

Once again Jay Rosen has come up with a perceptive take on the media. This time, he looks at the fiasco that was ABC News' attempt to meld right-wing blogger Andrew Breitbart, best known for deliberately airing a doctored video accusing a black federal official of racism, into it's election night coverage.

It's instructive because he deconstructs what seems to have happened in the frame of contemporary journalists attempting to show balance by using extremists on both sides, thinking that one's lies offset those of their opponents ("lies" may be a bit strong, but I'm awfully sick of the extreme lies of the last political advertising cycle, lies that any sentient being should know were falsehoods). By using the Breitbarts of the world (or even the James Carvilles or William Bennetts), television has ceded any authority of even claiming it was committed to the truth.

These are not journalists, folks out there in TV-land. Using them in a journalists' role means you are no better than Fox News, which left journalism behind long ago.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Is Washington Post looking hyperlocal?

A new Washington Post survey may presage a strong move into hyperlocal Internet sites. A similar survey earlier on business news was quickly followed by major changes in its business coverage. Hyperlocal seems to win again.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A peek behind a newspaper pay wall

The question of the millenium (at least this one) is this: Will online viewers actually pay for content that used to be free? There's an answer, of corts, from Great Britain but, of course, it comes with all sorts of further questions that need to be answered. The Guardian reports that the Rupert Murdoch paywall at the Times of London and the Sunday Times has cut sharply into online audience. "Total unique monthly UK visitors to the Times site went down from 3,096,000 to 1,782,000 when the wall went up, and that only 362,000 – about 20% – ventured on to pages beyond the wall," it says, but those viewers behind the wall are the most desirable by far, indicating that advertisers may well gravitate toward viewers behind the wall. Or maybe not. We'll find out.

Have media managers botched the iPad?

In what should be a surprise to no one, media managements have totally botched the iPad opportunity, according to MediaWeek. The APS are "clunky," the pricing is vastly inflated, and advertising tactics are unsustainable. Why should media managers (I know the story is about magazines, but the same holds true for all "old media") suddenly start getting smarter just because they are operating on a new platform? They should, of course, but as long as bonuses are based on short-term thinking (especially lucrative if you can sell your company) media executives will continue to insult their customers -- and their companies will pay.