Reading Rainbow is something for kids to combat illiteracy.
Anything that promotes Literacy is a good thing.
Bring Reading Rainbow Back for Every Child, Everywhere.
News is one of the most consumed categories of information on the web. News is information about events. According to Rolf Dobelli in a post on the Guardian Website, news is bad for you in a number of ways.
He makes an interesting set of arguments regarding the toxic nature of news.
Personally I find some news highly relevant and it does directly affect my life.
By his own admission he has been news free for over 4 years, and this article is his latest exposition of his creative thinking. The rest of the article outlines the many ways that reading news makes us passive, wastes our time, causes toxic reactions in our bodies, promotes irrationality and makes us stupid.
If you replace the word ‘news’ with the word ‘advertising’ this essay reads much better. But then it may just be my muddled thinking.
The Internet Scout
This is the Current Issue
Noteworthy Web sites
Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards is a site that scours the web for them and has created awards for excellence.
From Wikipedia comes this definition:
Make a note the dissemination and analysis of news and information. You will see this again.
From the Free Dictionary comes this definition of Journalism
Some of the most vocal proponents of Journalism’s Demise are Advertisers, PR Firms, and the Social Media Loons.
What follows is a brief explanation of why folks think Journalism is dying.
Companies desire to sell you stuff from crayons to cars, which created Marketing which begat Ad Agencies aka Advertisers which create and place Ads, which begat PR Firms, to polish awareness and crisis manage companies reputations who step in it, and with the internet, begat Social Media Firms, whose purpose seems to be the bastard children of Advertisers and PR Firms one ‘like’,’tweet’ and ‘post’ at a time.. Biblical for sure.
News Media outlets, Newspapers, Magazines, Radio and Television created their businesses by selling space to Advertisers to place Ads next to their news. This was for the most part a comfortable arrangement as there were circulation audits, to tell Advertisers how many subscriptions, single purchases, and geographical area covered. Newspapers and Magazines never paid the bills with subscription revenue. Advertisements and Classified Ads were what paid the bills and supported Journalists. Craigslist destroyed the Classified Ad business, and the web is gutting the Advertising business. Companies are creating their own websites, to go directly to consumers.
Newspapers, Magazines, Radio and Television have websites now, and are still trying to use Ads to support their businesses. There are online subscriptions but those are failing abysmally as well as they did offline. Despite the fact that auditing circulation on the web(page views) is much more precise and faster. That circulation in some cases amounts to millions of page views per month, and with the exception of Television and some Radio, newspapers and magazines could not support printing and delivering a million copies. CPM or Cost per Thousand is/was the benchmark in determining advertising cost. The internet is driving this into the ground.
The nature of what constitutes publication has changed radically with the rise of the web. Publication on the web is only a few keystrokes away. (hell if you are here without an Ad Blocker you can see the Google Ads in the sidebars. I can say that I am not an Advertiser Supported Publication as the clicks do not cover my hosting or internet connection bills. I do carry the Ads as I am interested in what Google determines is relevant advertising against my postings which is what Google’s primary sales pitch is. I laugh a lot when I see some of the stuff determined to be relevant.) moving on….
And you ask, what does this have to do with Journalism? It is all about money to pay journalists.
1) Newspapers were one of the first businesses to network, with the creation of the AP and UPI Wire services. Yes, it was a wire service with dedicated printers called teletypes, that took local news reports and ‘broadcast’ them to the subscribers. This service allowed local news outlets to reprint this information. Made the papers bigger with more space to sell ads. When you surf to various news sites you may notice the same stories. This is know as churnalism.
Same deal, content to place ads against. If you can cut and paste ‘news’ you don’t need a journalist. if your content management system supports it, you can script it, not needing anybody to cut and paste.
2) Employment Prospects From High Talk comes this:
3)Folks are spending less time reading news. From Pew Research comes this:
Newspapers no longer run their own advertising departments as management is preferring to out source it to third party ad serving networks whose reputations for fraud and abuse is just beginning to come to light. This will require another third party firm to audit these figures lowering revenue to the sites. Let alone the privacy implications by third parties. For those of you who think that out sourcing is a good idea just google Call Center Hell
Media Ownership Conglomerates further reduce the need for journalists as reporters working for them share news like the wire services, but without the subscription costs.
The Social Media Marketeers/PR Flacks/Ad Men insist on turning journalists into brand stenographers, with Native Advertising(which are basically press releases to look like news)
Despite the drop in viewership, cut and paste news, privacy violations, the ad dollars keep flowing.
I mentioned that you would see this phrase again: the dissemination and analysis of news and information.
Where newspapers could shine is in the area of context. Who What and When can be blurted out in 140 characters, but Why requires much more work. Newspapers and other other News outlets have a vast institutional memory in their archives which can be leveraged to provide the Why, but that would require a commitment to News in service to the community regardless of size.
Journalism is not dead.It is in danger, as employment figures show. You are just not going to see it from Major Media sites. What we could use is an Andrew Carnegie for digital journalism.
What we do have is a direction as posted by Katharine Viner, deputy editor of the Guardian.
NOTE: This posting was written in response to a Posting by my buddy George over at High Talk. Yeah he is a PR guy, but he is not just a PR guy.
The news that Jeff Bezos whose Amazon.com has changed the face of retail marketing with books, music,DVD’s and now just about everything else including kitchen sinks,has bought the Washington Post has the Internet in an uproar.
My friend George Snell over at Hightalk.net made these observations:
While George’s points are all valid, (considering I haven’t bought a newspaper in over 10 years,and unless it is online or in the real world, and the closest I get to newsprint for news are grocery circulars addressed to resident, which find themselves in the recycle bin, and I am light years past 30) I think that JB is looking at a different game.
One of the other things so many of the internuts and webheads either never learned, forgot, or ignore is the physicality and permanence of the printed word. Every word that you are reading is because someone put a book in your face and trained you to make connections between the characters to the thoughts you have. The next time you pick up that book it is the same. It hasn’t been edited, overwritten or deleted. Even today with the changing consumption of news, the printed document regardless of format, is still gold. Check your desk and tell me there is no paper.
The theories abound. All of the lunatic ravings that Bezos is gonna have a bully pulpit for some crypto liberal disgorgement of views opposed to reality is so much bullshit. That JB will drive the final stake into the heart of print journalism, which has with the help of the internet put newspapers on the endangered media list.
Newspapers have done it to themselves. Journalism especially in print has shot itself in the foot maintaining their ex catherdra pronouncements and writings with “we have seen the source, trust us”. We all know that we can fact check their ass six ways from Sunday. Guys like Jason Blair don’t help either.
Bezos is a businessman. He wants to be in every home.
Will he kill the physical paper? Depends. Newspapers have just begun linking and presenting source materials to validate their stories. they ripped that off from us old linker’s and hippies:) The Post could become an Kindle Exclusive. Probably the worst outcome.
Newspapers have had an intimate relationship with the areas they have served.
The second most valuable thing is the physical distribution data. From press to doorstep. Like every other newspaper, the classifieds cash cow all went to craigslist. What does it really cost to print. What does it cost to get from the end of the press into your hand. vehicles, distributors, paperboys.
One of the things that newspapers have is their archives. stories, pieces that printed, spiked stories, notes, photos, and work products that did not make it to the front page. This is worth the purchase price alone.
No what I think he is gonna do is look at getting subscription numbers up and offering discounts at amazon for subscribers and expanding the delivery role to include your purchases with your news.
Buying the Washington post is a brilliant move, on a number of fronts. He now has access to the highest level of political power in this country as well as their spouses, and every federal dept, staff and aides, pages, and friends.
If he can do this in Washington, when these folks go back home they will remember and probably scream for it in their home towns.
I can see the Amazon Post Trucks(like the ice cream trucks do now) cruising neighborhoods selling papers and delivering products. In the afternoon for evening delivery.
When amazon buys fedex, ups or privatizes the us postal service, remember you heard it here first.
If you are looking for a feed reader that does the job like google used to, Try inoreader.
Works Great, no bullshit ads, and has addons, and mobile apps for the desktop challenged.
WordPress is a great tool for creating blogs, especially for housebloggers who have a desire for show and tell like me. There is a vibrant community that supports WordPress and there are also assholes. Free is not necessarily without cost.
A great but technical article on the hidden dangers of using “free” WordPress themes.