Ah, there’s good news tonight

November 3, 2008

I guess one could try to put a positive spin on almost anything. Ken Doctor trys to find the pony in the pile of horse dung:

The only good news for publishers here is that lenders really don’t want to push publishers into bankruptcy, knowing that they don’t have much opportunity to make more of the assets than the current managers. Further, the wider financial squeeze means that ailing newspaper debtors are now one of the lesser problems many banks are juggling. There may be some shelter in wider misery.

The sad news is that the economic melt down is putting the squeeze on newspapers. Is there the possibility of good news coming out of this? Is it possible that local ownership of newspapers may make a comeback as they become less desirable a corporate acquisitions and affordable for some kind of local consortium?

Is it possible that a news gathering organization that is less tethered to maximizing revenue for a corporation might be able to serve its local readers needs better?

Is a failure of the corporate model of news ownership necessarily a bad thing for local news?

This is a horrible time for many good people. No one knows what the outcome of all this will be. Without disparaging the former corporate model is it too naive to think that the end result of this painful mess may be a better journalism product?


Jounalism Challenge Match

November 3, 2008

Lets say there is a really big story going on that effects everybody. It is complicated but not metaphysically unknowable. Would old media or new media do a better job of covering it?

The economic downturn would be a good example of a big story that effects everyone. Its complicated. So who would you say is winning the contest to inform the people?

Jeff Jarvis takes a look at the contestants and finds a surprise, the winner, for him, is radio.

NPR’s This American Life broke their normal format to take the time to explain what was going on and what the different amswers proposed meant for the markets and for individuals. They also used the internet to supplement their stories with podcasts that could go into more detail.

The big loser for Jarvis, and for any one else who cares about these things, was the cable news outlets. They avoided indepth analysis, ran a talking-head fest of noise and stuck with their usual formula of disturbing footage and snippets of shocking statements ran on an endless loop.