Friday, December 26, 2008

If newspapers die ...

Another McClatchy Commentary, this one by Barbara Shelly, The Kansas City Star: Communities will feel loss of newspapers
But if newspapers die, what forum will exist for stories like the fish vendor's? Small in the scheme of things but large to the persons involved.
Haven't newspapers died already? Where are the reporters she talks about. They've been homogenized and pasteurized by corporate control. The Arizona Daily Star here in Tucson was at one time --seems like eons ago-- quite a good paper. They had periodic special reporting on topics of interest to Southern Arizona. Not any more. Today's corporate Star is like imitation vanilla. Superfluous. Tasteless. Insipid. There's nothing there that I am willing to pay for. I visit the online version once in a while hoping to see a change. I would really like an active local area newspaper. But we will not get any 'news' from corporate newsrooms. We will get messages and indoctrination. I don't blame the individuals that still call themselves reporters. They need jobs and wish to do well at those jobs. Well, yes, I do blame them, but I also think I can understand the dilemma for any who would be more reporter-ish in their work.
Internet sites can give you the big stories. Bloggers can give you opinions and snappy lines. Watchdog sites can give you good investigative reports.

But if newspapers die, what forum will exist for stories like the fish vendor's? Small in the scheme of things but large to the persons involved.
Internet sites? Bloggers. Watchdog sites? Something's missing here. Bloggers and internet sites and watchdogs and reporters and commentators etc. are not mutually exclusive.

Blogger is one of those terms that can mean anything and nothing at the same time. I'm a blogger, I suppose, as I have this blog call Arizona Eclectic on a service called Blogger that is on the Internet. Gee.

I'm one of those who "give you opinions and snappy lines." Except that I post other people's 'snappy lines' and opinions. It's how I learn and how I remember. In class I learned to write everything down. Even if I never read my notes (which were mostly illegible), just the process of writing it helped me remember the subject matter. Don't know why but it worked for me.

Shelly, however, seems unaware of the range of skills in this world she so handily writes off as bloggers. There are reporters blogging. Real reporters like the Border Reporter, who writes about a local geographical area. Now just try to tell me that Larisa Alexandrovna at at-Largely is not a reporter AND a blogger.

What about Seems to encompass opinion, analysis, research and reporting. Certainly it's no more biased that the corporate controlled GOP media though it's much more intelligent, thorough and rational, most of the time.

Seems to me that the newspapers are already dead in the sense of being a place for real reporters. Local public interest stories, neighborhood stories, community interest stories? When there are reporters with incentive and a way to provide themselves a livelihood then they will find the stories. That environment has already been killed by greed obsessed corporate media. Sex, crime and political gotchas are what they expect us to swallow. And pay for? Sorry, I resist.

When I get calls trying to get me to subscribe (it's probable close to 10 years since I finally got fed up with the Star) to the local paper the callers script never includes any information about the actual reporting in the star. They try to sell me on the coupons. They've become a marketer of coupons. That's how I see them. News quality? Information accuracy. Completeness of facts. All secondary, if that. I would pay for quality, completeness, dependability, facts and a little bit of decent writing and organization skills. I paid for the paper for years. As much as I use the Internet I still like having a paper or magazine or book in my hand and reading it relaxed in a comfortable chair.

Today's QUOTES:

... I don't know who tanked Brennan, but the fact that a whole bunch of people are still whining about bloggers doing it a solid month after it happened strikes me as a sign that something's amiss.
--The Great And Powerful Left by digby, Hullabaloo

... There's the central axiom driving coverage by our American media: the more significant a matter it is, the less attention it receives ...
--Politico reviews the year in American "political journalism" by Glenn Greenwald,


carol stanley said...

Newspapers are still a viable entity..Something about newspaper and morning coffee that is special

Gail said...

So true, but I there isn't one in my town that I would pay for, so I do without ...