Setting us up for the big fall?

Or “The first ten are free.”

A Newspaper Pay Wall Goes Up — and So Do Visitor Numbers — “Visitors can read 10 “local” articles per month free-of-charge, but after that, they need to pay up.

First they get us hooked, then they take it away? There’s a name for people like that.

 

 

So who is “the sleaziest man in sports”?

One of my favorite podcasts is Slate’s Hang Up and Listen. Maybe because there’s no shouting and no “Brian from Bridgetown, you’re on the air.”

One of the topics in this week’s edition was the latest Favre selfishness: did he or did he not inappropriately send messages (text and voicemail) to Jenn Sterger, attention-seeker de semaine? I don’t know Ms. Sterger’s body of work, but every story seems to be accompanied by a photo (or slideshow of photos) of her in as little attire as the editorial rules of each outlet allows, so I’m just guessing she’s not a panelist on Meet the Press. (In fact, she was (still is?) a “sideline reporter” and contributor to the Sports Illustrated website.)

The conversation on the show laid most of the blame — if that’s the correct word — on Deadspin, the “let’s skewer the athletes” website — for flaunting all established rules of journalism when it comes to attribution. In it’s rush to release the story, did the website have the right to use her name as the source when she was still deciding if she wanted to do so? The question, then: is it Favre or the Deadspin reporter or editor who made the decision to publish the sleaziest?

I don’t care what you call me, just don’t call me late for dinner

Another time-honored tradition gone down the tubes.

“The Associated Press has changed how it is asking its reporters to refer to themselves in their articles…”

The story reminded me of the comedian (and I use the term charitably), Bill Saluga, a “one-shtick-wonder.” This was his claim to fame:

 

Did ya miss me?

Apologies to anyone who’s been following The Worried Journalist. (If you had actually been following me, you’d know what I’ve been up to).

Suffice it to say, the last few — what has it been, weeks? Months? — have been tense and interesting (like the Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.”) Things at work are basically status quo: management keeps saying how dire the situation is; a few people have left and heir jobs have been absorbed and distributed among the remaining staffers. I, myself, am now pulling triple duty, but how can I complain? At least I have a job. For how much longer, no one can say. Who knows, I might end up like Mark Zuckerman.

Who dat, you might ask?

Zuckerman used to be the Nationals beat writer for the Washington Times before the publication decided to jettison its sports department. So while he’s waiting for another job, he’s taken matters into his own hands, successfully, it seems.

From Zuckerman’s Feb 8 post on NatsInsider.com:

This site, though, isn’t a money-maker. I’m doing this on my own, receiving no income other than a few pennies each time you click on an ad.

So I need your help to make this happen. At the top of this post, you saw a link with instructions on how to make a donation. I’ve set up a system with PayPal, a safe and reliable method that allows you to pay by credit card with confidence. You are free to donate as little or as much as you’d like.

If you choose not to participate, no worries. You’ll still have access to my full coverage from Florida. But if you do participate, I’m going to return the favor by offering you extra, exclusive coverage all spring.

Here’s what you’ll get, based on your donation level:

$20 — Exclusive daily audio file of Jim Riggleman’s morning or postgame media session.

$40 — Exclusive daily audio file of Jim Riggleman’s morning or postgame media session, plus another daily audio file of an interview with a Nats player, coach or front-office member.

$60 — Exclusive daily audio file of Jim Riggleman’s morning or postgame media session; plus another daily audio file of an interview with a Nats player, coach or front-office member; plus the opportunity to submit a question to be asked of Riggleman or a prominent player during a spring training interview.

So rather than POD — “print on demand” — we gvie you NOD — “news on demand.”

Zuckerman listed a goal of $5,000; to date, he has more than doubled that.

God bless the child who’s got his own, but if this is the shape of things to come, we’re in trouble.

(Slate.com’s Hang Up and Listen podcast covered this story in it’s latest edition.)

Print business dying, film at 11

So much for idealism. Here I always thought it was the news that sold the paper. Evidently I’m a naif. I recently learned that it’s everything but the news: it’s the sports, weather, home and parenting tips, and the TV listings that make the sales. In fact, NY Magazine is expanding its on-line TV coverage.

So, again, let me get this straight: TV Guide is pracyically dead, but NY Magazine, which could conceivably be covering lots more important things (especially with the local papers cutting their staffs), is picking up the slack, is that about right?

Who needs you anyway?

According to this item from Tower Ticker, the Chicago Tribune will go without the AP feed for one week, as an experiment, beginning Nov. 8.

As of 2005, the news collected by the AP is published and republished by more than 1,700 newspapers, in addition to more than 5,000 television and radio broadcasters. The photograph library of the AP consists of over 10 million images. The Associated Press operates 243 news bureaus, and it serves at least 120 countries, with an international staff located all over the world. (Wiki alert).

so let’s see: newspapers are cutting their staffs, and now they’re doing without the AP for content. Looks like a lot of internships are about to open up.

 

Do you know what it means, to miss New Orleans

Times-Picayune, or any other city newspaper?

Splice Today does, as evidenced in this artiucle. It’s kind of ironic because according to the site’s mission statement,

Splice Today is a web magazine featuring idiosyncratic writing and visual presentation on topics of interest and concern to an audience that values perspective over popularity. We depend on contributors who aren’t getting their voices heard anywhere else.

Isn’t that kind of the problem? That people are turning away from traditional newspapers for e-zeins like ST?

Anyway, the article notes

The numbers say it all, stark and simple, with no zippy adjectives needed to heighten their impact. Just last week, the Audit Bureau of Circulations, released its six-month downward spiral: Newspapers across the country lost 10.6 percent of their paying readers. And in Baltimore, the Sun—the last remaining major daily in a town which 25 years ago had three—lost 15 percent of its daily circulation and eight percent of its Sunday deliveries. Its daily circulation is now down to 186,639 and its Sunday circulation stands at 322,491.

But perhaps the scariest thought of all:

Without newspapers, Oprah will reign and People will set the American agenda. Think of a world of information dominated by Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and a few other screwballs who use their First Amendment rights to contaminate the news pool by conflating opinion with fact. That’s how petri dish rumors, without editors and fact-checkers, are incubated and assume a life of their own outside the dish.

Sorry, I thought this happened already. The gym where I work out has a big screen TV in the lobby. Mind you, most of the people there are fairly upscale with higher-than-average educations. So why is The People’s Court, or some such nonsense always on?

  • A reluctant welcome

    It’s no secret what’s going on the field of print journalism. It’s going into the crapper. I wonder if Mr. Internet realized this would happen when he invented the World Wide Web. Regardless, the situation is here and we’re stuck with it. The purpose of this blog is to blow off a little steam, and I invite my fellow ink-stained wretches to join in with their own tales of woe or triumph. Maybe this will turn into a nice little support network. Questions? Suggestions? E-mail me at worriedjournalist(at) gmail(dot)com.
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