Beating a dead horse: another post about newspaper economics

I promised myself I would not step into the latest gnashing of teeth over the future of corporate media, but here I am.

About a week ago, David Simon (“creator of The Wire and Treme“), wrote this in the online Columbia Journalism Review:

It’s grievous what is happening to regional newspapers, especially. But the whole industry will continue to collapse until everyone swallows hard and goes behind a paywall…. Once the content of the larger papers is no longer available to aggregators, then regional papers can safely take that same path and, maybe, there is an online revenue stream that will allow high-end journalism to survive.

Short of that, the great Molly Ivins is right, this is nothing more than slow suicide.

Simon abandoned journalism (he once worked for the Baltimore Sun) for the confines of a pay-wall monopoly: HBO (owned by Time Warner and responsible for one-quarter of parent company profits in 2010). He’s clearly an excellent weaver of fictional stories, but that does not mean he understands digital economics or today’s news business or even the pressure that cable TV feels from fiber-to-the-home. Continue reading


YouTube Politics: Obama To Hold Google+ Hangout Monday


Obama, 2012 SOTU, White House Photo

In 2007, Google and YouTube broke into presidential politics by holding a “debate” in conjunction with CNN. At the time, Google had owned YouTube for less than a year.

Flash forward almost five years. On Monday at 5.30 p.m. Eastern, Google+ (which is also less than a year old), is the stage for a presidential response to last week’s State of the Union address. As in 2007, the questions are generated by us. And as in 2007, which questions get answered is not being left in the hands of the crowd.

From 2007:

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Bing’s New “Radio” iPhone App

It was scenario common to modern celebrations: Gene plugged the iPodTouch into external speakers to provide background music for our mini-reunion. I wasn’t paying a lot of attention when he asked what “year” we were interested in hearing: 1974? 1975? I do remember thinking “Wow, he’s put his music into playlists by year!” but I was in deep conversation about, well, things we did in the ’70s.

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