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July 13 2011

20:47

Zero hour - Timothy Garton Ash: a new settlement between politics, media and law must emerge

Guardian :: Britain's drama has penetrated the carapace of American self-preoccupation. Legendary reporter Carl Bernstein compares it to Watergate. On morning television, Hugh Grant appeals to Americans to wake up to Rupert Murdoch's pernicious influence on their own media. Business reporters track the impact on News Corp shares. Senator John Rockefeller calls for an inquiry into whether Americans' phones were hacked. If it turns out that 9/11 victims were targeted, as suggested by the campaigning MP Tom Watson in prime minister's questions, then this will no longer be just a foreign story.

But what does it all mean?

[Timothy Garton Ash, Guardian:] From the putrid quagmire of the hacking scandal must emerge a new settlement between politics, media and the law

Continue to read Timothy Garton Ash, www.guardian.co.uk

January 06 2010

15:31

INMA’S EARL WILKINSON: SORRY TO DISAPPOINT THE PUNDITS, BUT NEWSPAPERS SURVIVED THE STORM…

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Earl Wilkinson writes in his INMA blog:

Reading through the inevitable year-end looks back at 2009, it’s amusing to see how the pundits have just now “discovered” that the worst economic pounding in eight decades didn’t actually kill newspapers after all.

That hardly makes newspapers a growth industry. That hardly means there aren’t more cutbacks to come. That hardly means we shouldn’t double and triple efforts to regain key advertising categories. That hardly means we shouldn’t shift budgets toward business-building activities such as sales, marketing, research, and digital. That hardly means it hasn’t been one hell of a ride.

Yet it does mean that what INMA has repeatedly said this year has proven true:

  • There is no pending death of the newspaper industry.
  • Second-tier newspapers in the best of times would die in the worst of times.
  • Debt-laden corporate parents stole the headlines, while the newspapers they owned quietly scaled operations and maintained profitability.
  • Newspapers with generic missions positioned in the middle of their markets will be at-risk for the foreseeable future.
  • Newspapers were dramatically over-staffed with journalists, a bubble inflated by advertiser demand and not reader demand.

Despite continued cutbacks in the vaunted Washington Post newsroom, for example, the newspaper still employs more than 800 full-time journalists – roughly double the number that worked there in the halcyon days of Watergate…

Spot-on.

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