Sunday, March 29, 2009

Top 100 Newspapers, Blogs, and Consumer Magazines

Readers Weigh in on why Newspapers are becoming Extinct

There seems to be a difference in perception between the people who read the news and the people who write the news.

Readers believe the quality of journalism has declined, and they refuse to purchase or advertise in an inferior prduct.

"Journalists" see their industy as a victim that just needs some government "stimulus" to restore it to its former glory.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

When journalists turn to poor-mouthing: a manufactured crisis

This article is about a manufactured crisis.

The Problem

John Nichols and Robert W. McChesney are a couple of "veteran journalists" who wrote about "The Death and Life of Great American Newspapers" the April edition of "The Nation."

Here is the "crisis" Nichols and McChesney are talking about:
Communities across America are suffering through a crisis that could leave a dramatically diminished version of democracy in its wake. It is not the economic meltdown, although the crisis is related to the broader day of reckoning that appears to have arrived.

Ok, so these two veteran journalists/authors say there is a crisis. What's the nature of the crisis? Read on.

Here is what Nichols and McChesney have to say about the quality of journalism in the United State
We do not mean to suggest that '60s journalism was perfect or that we should aim to return there. Even then journalism suffered from a generally agreed-upon professional code that relied far too heavily on official sources to set the news agenda and decide the range of debate in our political culture. That weakness of journalism has been magnified in the era of corporate control, leaving us with a situation most commentators are loath to acknowledge: the quality of journalism in the United States today is dreadful.

So, these gentlemen claim there is a "crisis" in journalism and the reason is that the "quality of journalism in the United States today is dreadful".

Deceptive Logic

I was not so much surprised as I was deeply saddened to see the type of deceptive logic used by Nichols and McChesney to make their case for what will eventually amount to a government takeover of our newspapers.

According to Nichols and McChesney:
The country's great regional dailies -the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Philadelphia Inquirer--are in bankruptcy.


The country's great regional dailies are not in bankruptcy.

The country's FORMERLY great regional dailies are in bankruptcy."

I would submit that in making their case to save the nation's "great regional dailies", Nichols and McChesney have demonstrated the type of subtle bias and dishonesty that is the problem with the big regional dailies, and that is the reason people no longer choose to purchase them, or advertise in them them, and is exactly the reason these papers are failing.

The Solution

Here is the solution to the "quality" problem noted by Nichols and McChesney. I think their solution is crazy, because it rewards failure; but here it is.

The Nichols McChesney Solution:
Let's give all Americans an annual tax credit for the first $200 they spend on daily newspapers.

Interview with Robert McChesney

Question: How many news sources were there when the Constitution was signed?

Question: How many news sources are there now?

Basically there are 1000 times as many news sources in 2009 as there were in 1787.

Question: Why are journalists and (some) politicians trying to convince us that there is a "crisis" in the American news industry?

Here is mystery. If American Journalism is "dreadful", as Nichols and McChesney claim, why reward it with incentives like tax credits to preserve it? Why not just let the market kill it off and replace it with something better?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Newspaper Revitalization Act: Newspapers as non-profits

The Newspaper Revitalization Act, introducted by US Senator Ben Cardin, would grant newspapers so-called 501(c)(3) tax status typically reserved for educational entities.

"This may not be the optimal choice for some major newspapers or corporate media chains," said Cardin, " but it should be an option for many newspapers that are struggling to stay afloat."

According to Cardin spokeswoman Susan Sullam, "This is really aimed at community newspapers."

Tim Windsor of the Nieman Journalism Lab opposed the bill in a column titled Killing innovation with kindness: The Newspaper Revitalization Act

"We don't necessarily need mainstream media anymore", says AFA counsel

The American Family Association (AFA) has announced they are planning 1000 Tax Day Tea Parties for April 15.

Comments by Michael DePrimo, special counsel to AFA President Tim Wildmon, reflected growing mistrust of the so-called "mainstream" media's ability to cover the events.

"...the media does whatever the media choose to do," said DePrimo. "...the good news is that with the Internet, Facebook, texting and with all the ways we can communicate today, we don't necessarily need the mainstream media anymore. The message can get out without them."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Blogs express anger/frustration at sparse tea party coverage.

by Sam Mela

Blogs around the country seem to consistently express awareness that the so-called "main stream media" is giving inadequate coverage to the "tea party" venue that has sprung up as a means to protest the current presidential administration's fiscal policies.

Activists have established a Tea Party Media Watch wiki to track media coverage.

The Blue Star Chronicles noted lack of coverage of a tea party in Atlanta --

According to the Blue Star Chronicles
An Atlanta Tea Party was held today, February 27, 2009. It was pouring rain today in Atlanta. There were thunder storms. Yet hundreds showed up at the State Capital for the Atlanta Tea Party. There were speeches and a lot of anger. Yet I have not seen a peep about this on the local news. Maybe I missed the coverage. Oh, there have been a few little sarcastic notes about it deeply embedded in the New York Times and some other newspapers. Most of which have either a dismissive tone or defend Obama’s strategy of spending tax payers money to stop wasteful spending. The British Telegraph did report on it however.
I’ve seen wall to wall coverage of every Code Pink event conducted by ten or so middle aged housewives with self esteem issues trying to find something that makes them feel their lives have some meaning. I’ve seen wall to wall coverage of a handful of people that get out and walk around with signs whenever Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton are not happy about something.
But nothing. Nothing on hundreds of regular Americans who have JOBS and pay taxes, getting out in pouring rain because they love this country and won’t stand by and do nothing while our rights are being taken away and we are turned into a communist state.
Other blogs weighed in as well . . .
Sound Politics, March 23, 2009
Some demonstrations fit our local TV stations' agendas, and others don't. As Orwell might say, some demonstrations are more equal than others. Even if showing them makes a TV station look foolish.
NewsBusters, March 23, 2009
No 'Tea Party' in NY Times, But Room for Leftist 'Bus Tour' of AIG Homes
Moonbattery, March 16, 2009
Google News currently lists a total of seven news reports nationwide on this rather large demonstration. The media's general resistance to covering the Tea Parties story is part of the story. As the movement builds, people will become aware of the phenomenon — and of how the media tried to cover it up, making the MSM all the more complicit in what's being done to our economy for the sake of advancing socialism.
DailySkiff, March 10, 2009
The only report I heard about the tea party was on a talk show Monday, March 2 on Talk Radio 570 KLIF. Then I found an article in the back of the Star-Telegram about it. I was surprised that, given the large turnout, it received such little attention.
NewsBusters, March 8, 2009
Coverage of "tea party" protests in various cities around the country (this March 4 Pajamas Media press release, HT to FreeRepublic, cited 22 locations on February 27 and seven this weekend) has been sparse to non-existent, especially at major establishment media outlets.

Send comments and additional information to

Friday, March 20, 2009

Major American Newspapers asked about Tea Party Coverage

From a 3/19/09 San Francisco Examiner article titled "Tea parties are flash crowds Obama should fear" by Mark Tapscott.
Thousands of Americans in dozens of cities large and small, coast to coast, have assembled recently to protest President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus spending, proposed budget deficits and tax hikes on small-business owners and other entrepreneurs.
But odds are that the vast majority of people who depend solely on the mainstream media’s print and broadcast giants for their news know little or nothing about the protests.
Why? Because the MSMers regularly miss significant political news when it is happening right in front of them, thanks to the ideological blinders that make so many otherwise intelligent people in those newsrooms think the only real news happens in Washington, D.C., or New York. (And occasionally in Boston or Los Angeles).
What's the real story. We called major American newspapers to ask them about their coverage of recent tea party rallies around the country.

Cleveland Plain Dealer



x4804 News Desk

Message left 21 March 2008.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

New York Times and Media Relations

Diane McNultyExecutive DirectorCommunity Affairs & Media Relations(212) 556-5244

Pat EisemannAssistant DirectorCommunity Affairs & Media Relations(212) 556-8719

Uchenna HicksSenior ManagerCommunity Affairs & Media Relations(212) 556-1757

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What the Trib Missed on March 6, 2009

Here's what the Salt Lake Tribune missed at the Utah State Capitol on March 6, 2009.

Approximately 100 Utahns came out to protest President Barrack Obama's fiscal policies.

When is a story newsworthy?

Timing? Significance? Proximity? Prominence? Human interest?

We're not saying the Tribune was wrong or that they made a mistake, but we would love an explanation.

Commentary on Salt Lake Tribune Article

I would like to comment an article titled "Are newspapers sinking?", by Paul Beebe, published in the Salt Lake Tribune, 3/15/2009.

I honestly don't believe that Mr. Beebe or his editor's "get it". Whatever the Tribune wants to call Mr. Beebe's production -- an article, a commnentary piece, a feature -- it doesn't much matter; it was a signature example of lazy post millennium journalistm.

With the resources of a major daily Newspaper at his disposal, Mr. Beebe could have asked and answered important questions that would shed light on the future of the News industry.

What did a newspaper look like in 100 years ago in 1909?

How about in 1960? How did newspapers react to to television, and are they reacting the same way to the internet? How many reporters covered the White House in 1960? How many reporters cover the White H9ouse now?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Endangered Newspapers

Here is a Time Magazine list of "endangered newspapers", published March 9, 2009. Here's the link to the complete article,8599,1883785,00.html?iid=tsmodule
  1. The Philadelphia Daily News.
  2. The Minneapolis Star Tribune
  3. The Miami Herald
  4. The Detroit News
  5. The Boston Globe
  6. The San Francisco Chronicle
  7. The Chicago Sun-Times
  8. The New York Daily News
  9. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  10. The Cleveland Plain Dealer


McIntyre , Douglas. "The 10 Major Newspapers That Will Either Fold or Go Digital Next - TIME." Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews - 9 Mar. 2009. 10 Mar. 2009,8599,1883785,00.html?iid=tsmodule.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Salt Lake Tea Party: Where is the Tribune?

Where was the Salt Lake Tribune coverage of the March 6 Salt Lake Tea Party?

About 100 people attended, according to local TV Station KSL.

Here's the original announcement for the event:

The Desert News article, By David Servatius, was published Friday, March 6, 2009 10:34 p.m.

Anti-tax-and-spend group throws "tea party" at Capitol