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July 04 2010

11:08

HOW TO HAVE STRONGER NEWSPAPERS? EASY. DO REAL JOURNALISM. PERIOD!

Sullivan

I just subscribed to The Times and Suday Times websites.

Cheap and easy: 1 GBP for one month, and after that 2 GBP a week.

Why?

Because you cannot read anywhere else smart columns like this one.

Andrew Sullivan on the real crisis of American newspapers.

A few “tapas”:

-Many US newspapers have simply become pale, quivering shadows of what they once were.

-Once, they aggressively scrutinised the powerful and exposed secrets, but they have — with some exceptions — become mouthpieces for the powerful, enablers of propaganda and prim schoolmarms when it comes to telling people what they want to know.

-A Harvard study recently examined the full record. This was its finding: “[From the 1930s to 2002] The New York Times characterised waterboarding as torture in 81.5% (44 of 54) of articles on the subject and the Los Angeles Times did so in 96.3% of articles (26 of 27). By contrast, in 2002-8 the studied newspapers almost never referred to waterboarding as torture.

-The New York Times called waterboarding torture or implied it was torture in just 2 of 143 articles (1.4%). The Los Angeles Times did so in 4.8% of articles (3 of 63). The Wall Street Journal characterised the practice as torture in just 1 of 63 articles (1.6%). USA Today never called waterboarding torture.”

-Over time this kind of editorial cowardice gets through to the average reader. She senses she is not reading a truly independent press, eager to offend, sceptical of the powerful and determined not to mince words. And so she looks elsewhere. The editors and producers of American journalism have long wondered why their industry has been in decline. Perhaps they should try looking in the mirror.

Oh, boy!

Talk about multimedia, citizens journalism, social media, new platforms, interactivity, tablets and other magic words…

That’s nothing.

That’s wrong.

That’s a distraction.

Newspapers will be saved not by gadgets, technology and buzzwords but by real journalism.

Period!

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl