Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sometime, how a story is told is more illuminating than the story

What I found most interesting about the Wall Street Journal's take on the book "The Deal From Hell" was not only the excellent writing of Reason's Matt Welch, but the more than subtle pro-corporate bias shown in the account of the declines of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.

As could be expected from the editor of the nation's best libertarian magazine, Welch retells the story in a compelling manner. As could be expected from the new Murdoched Wall Street Journal, the incredible mismanagement is largely excused ("What's lacking is any sense of realism about newspapers' collapsing finances and any exploration of the newsroom's own culpability in failing to adapt," he writes). This isn't to say that Welch's basic story line -- after riding high, the newspaper industry is grappling to find new revenue to replace that which fled to the Internet or whereever -- is wrong, but an analysis this well-done needed balance. Maybe that's too much to ask of the WSJ in this new era.

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