Arrr! Da seas r’ roiled, an dis’ time da pirates ‘rrr not the cauz’. Instead, the morning’s newspapers are adrift with stories of the economic conflagration of the news media. A brief tour of the littered galleys:
1. The New York Times’ David Carr discusses the coming pressure for media outlets to start charging (again) for content online. He discusses the “parasites and tape worms of the Internet” (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!) and also employs this decidedly unseaworthy metaphor: “The current recession combined with a structural shift in ad spending and consumer habits have left the newspaper industry in a box canyon. Many believe they have no choice but to shoot their way out, even if it means taking on Google and the hundreds of millions of eyeballs it represents.”
2. Also fronting the NYT’s biz page: “A Stress Test For Magazines: Raising Prices Without Losing Readers,” in which the physics of the glossy newsstand is discussed. And “News Without Newspapers” in which the hyperlocal experiment is explained.
3. The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz, while admitting a drop off in his own newspaper’s online readership, wades into the Politico news atomization discussion, which I blogged about a few weeks back. Kurtz quotes me as a “critic” of Politico, and then forces Mike Allen to “dismiss” said criticism by accusing people like me of not reading Politico’s meatier journalistic fare. (To clarify, I never suggested that Politico does not have top-notch journalists doing top-notch journalism; I do not believe that Politico is an evil force in the universe; and I would argue that one can, when observing a single news organization, both marvel at its radical adaptation to the Internet and consume the finer, substantive, long journalistic product of Politicos like Rogers, Martin, Smith, Calderone and Vogel.)
4. Meanwhile, the Washington Times announces that it will devote one page a day in its print edition to “news stories reported and written by average citizens in local communities.”
5. And Jay Rosen, new media deep-thinker, scourge, scold and provocateur, makes a substantial argument for reporters making more of an effort to take sides in public disputes when facts can be ascertained. I would give you my opinion of this, reflecting on the facts at hand, but I have no time. I am way too busy Twittering, hiding under my desk, preparing to cash in my 401k, etc.