Industry commentary

Saddam’s face…

December 15, 2003
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… is on pretty much all the pages at the Newseum’s front page array.

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Dumping on Gannett

December 11, 2003
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I never waste a chance to link to stories trashing the Evil Empire of newspapering. Here’s one on shenanigans in the Indianapolis market. Here’s one on Gannett launching four free weeklies targeting young readers. And here’s one on advertising prospects for next year, published in USA Today, which got to be a good paper...

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On unpaid interns

December 10, 2003
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An interesting thread at Testy Copy Editors debates the pluses and minuses. Speaking for the defense, Pam says: I arrange unpaid internships for my copy desk. I will agree that many shops misuse interns. But that doesn’t mean the concept itself is no good. The interns I’ve worked with have all been in school,...

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Coverage of TV is lame, he says

December 9, 2003
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In addition to our multitude of sins on other fronts, it seems we don’t cover the TV business worth a damn, either. I guess what I’ve learned is that the media have reflexively searched for the easy answers to trends that didn’t exist. Bad news sells more than no news, to wit: Ratings are...

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On the design font, er, front

December 8, 2003
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Newsdesigner links to a discussion about doglegs. Infomaniac links to a photographer at a smalltown paper who frets that we’re getting Poynterized. Our editor has signed all the reporters up to receive the daily blog called Al’s Morning Meeting. It is a blog supported by the Poynter Organization . The purpose of the blog...

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Guilty as charged

December 5, 2003
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William Powers in the National Journal: If you’re a respectable media outlet doing a Jackson story, there’s a kind of purification rite you have to perform, in which you demonstrate that although you yourself are technically part of the feeding frenzy, you’re actually very much above it. After all, you’re wasting precious news hole...

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Young guy to press: make it matter

December 4, 2003
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Young guy Clay on getting younger readers: Young people will read newspapers if they think the newspapers are worth their time and energy. It really is that simple. A clumsy piece of pandering won’t help, especially if it bulges with the same tired wire copy you can find on a dozen Web sites.

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Reeling in the years

December 1, 2003
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I’m scanning the newsie sites this morning and notice three headlines about publications essentially zoning by age … basing critical assumptions about reader/consumer behavior on how old people are. New York Times: In interviews this fall, Mr. Tanner asked several hundred young people in the Dallas area to describe their dream newspaper. Taken collectively,...

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Dan, give somebody else a chance

November 29, 2003
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Here’s a New York Times profile of Dan Rather, who’s hanging on to that anchor desk like it’s the only thing keeping him alive. At 72, Mr. Rather is eight years older than Walter Cronkite was when he left the CBS anchor desk, and nine years older than Mr. Brokaw is now. Though his...

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Paul Simon on the nature of news

November 25, 2003
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No, not the and-Garfunkel guy, I’m talking about former U.S. Sen. Paul Simon (who has such a great voice it’s a shame he didn’t become a talk radio jock), who used to own small newspapers in southern Illinois before he grew up and became a congressman. In an Editor & Publisher piece on profit-mad...

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