Journalistic Practice

The Loss of trade press covering media industry in DC - why it matters

Jeff Chester, Digital Destiny

This week we learned that the long-time reporter covering the cable industry in Washington, D.C. for the industry “trade” publication Multichannel News had lost his job. Variety also closed its DC bureau in December. Hollywood Reporter doesn’t have its veteran DC reporter. Adweek/Mediaweek/Brandweek no longer have a regular person based in Washington. There’s been consolidation at Ad Age and TV Week as well, with one journalist now responsible covering issues for both publications. We understand there has been some belt-tightening also at Broadcasting and Cable.

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Despite murders, Moscow newspaper hopes to soldier on

Anna Arutunyan. Moscow News

The editorial office of beleaguered opposition newspaper Novaya Gazeta - five of whose staff members and journalists have been killed or died in mysterious circumstances in the last eight years - nestles in one of central Moscow's oldest districts, on Potapovsky Pereulok, where its cosy, Stalin-era building seems to extol the same perseverance with which Soviet dissidents fortified themselves.

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Panels to discuss newspapers' future

Dan Richman, Post-Intelligencer

Seattle City Councilman Nick Licata is scheduled to hold a panel discussion Wednesday on the importance of daily newspapers and maintaining multiple media outlets.

The meeting will not focus directly on preserving the Seattle P-I, whose owner, The Hearst Corp., put it up for sale this month. But it will address how other cities have moved to save their papers.

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Fourth estate foreclosure: why we need a National Endowment for Journalism

Alex Stonehill, Common Language Project

2009 promises to be another tough year for the journalism industry, and it looks like it’s our turn to take a beating here in Seattle. The imminent closure of the Seattle Post–Intelligencer, the city’s oldest and second largest newspaper was announced last week, just a few months after the second round of major staff cutbacks in 2008 went down at our other major newspaper, the Seattle Times.

With the country sliding into a massive recession, two major foreign wars raging, federal investigators uncovering a series of juicy political scandals, and our first black President entering office, all on the tail of an exciting local weather emergency, it’s hard to imagine the newspaper industry is having trouble finding news people want to read.

So what’s the problem? Industry insiders blame the internet for all of newspapers’ woes. But it’s a bit more complicated than that.

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Audience atomization overcome: why the Internet weakens the authority of the press

Jay Rosen, PressThink

In the age of mass media, the press was able to define the sphere of legitimate debate with relative ease because the people on the receiving end were atomized-- connected "up" to Big Media but not across to each other. And now that authority is eroding. I will try to explain why.

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And then they came for Lasantha Wickramatunga

Bob Dietz, Commitee to Protect Journalists

Sri Lankan journalist Lasantha Wickramatunga was gunned down in his car last week on his way to work. According to colleagues, his attackers used an automatic pistol equipped with a silencer. After they smashed in one of his car windows, they repeatedly shot Lasantha at close range. Somehow he didn't die on the spot. He died about three hours later in a hospital operating room. Just days after his death, his newspaper published his final editorial, showing that Lansantha may have seen what was coming.

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Power of the press can spark war - and peace

Nastassja Hoffet, IPS

In 2003, two journalists from Radio-Télévision Libre des Milles Collines were convicted of war crimes in the Rwanda genocide -- illustrating the dangerous role media can play by relaying hate speech or rumours during times of violent conflict.

RTLM, which broadcast from July 1993 to July 1994, was found to have "fanned the flames of hate and genocide in Rwanda". It was the first such conviction since that of Julius Streicher at Nuremberg for his anti-Semitic publication Der Stürmer.

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Union-led conference considers future of media industry

Joe Strupp, Editor and Publisher

About 150 participants are expected at a Communication Workers of America conference this weekend in Baltimore aimed at addressing the crisis in all media, including newspapers.

Titled "Future of the Media Industry," the three-day event, which also includes the Newspaper Guild, will offer events that focus on today's media issues ranging from alternative ownership to training and union organizing in tough times.

"It's a discussion about the future of our industry, but with a union focus," said Bernie Lunzer, Guild president. "What can we do to help our owners who are struggling?"

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Reinventing journalism

Steven T. Jones and Tim Redmond, SF Bay Guardian

The traditional media is in a tailspin, but can a new generation of visionaries revive the watchdog press?

Journalism, the critics say, is dying. The model of news reporting that has dominated the United States for most of the past century — big, well-funded outfits paying reporters and editors to choose and produce what the public reads or views — is crumbling. The main culprits are media consolidation and corporate cutbacks, but the downward spiral is also being fed by declining readership, competition from the Internet, investor expectations, demographic shifts, self-inflicted wounds, and myriad other factors.

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Newsrooms must get active to survive the economic meltdown

Robert Niles, Online Journalism Review

The past few weeks have seen the newspaper industry accelerate toward a previously unthinkable collapse. The Tribune Company (one of my former employers) filed for bankruptcy. E.W. Scripps put the Rocky Mountain News (another one of my former employers) up for sale, and might close the 150-year-old Denver paper should no buyer be found within the month. The Wall Street Journal reported that Detroit's two newspapers would stop home delivery on certain weekdays. (Their websites would update seven days a week.) Rumors continue to swirl that the Miami Herald is next up on the block.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey