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sv_libertarian's Journal: Thoughts on dead tree media 10

Journal by sv_libertarian
I work as a lead sales agent in the newspaper industry. I keep hearing people claim print is dead, and have to argue against that on a daily basis. People tell me they get their "news" off "the internet", but are usually hard pressed to explain further. I have found that in fact when they say "news" they usually mean "quick blurbs on my yahoo/msn/whatever page about stuff that isn't happening around me, but is flashy and cool." Basically the internet equivalent of TV talking heads regurgitating national and international news coupled with some sports and entertainment. But when pressed on where they get LOCAL news and LOCAL information most will tell me they turn to the local newspaper's website, or pick up single copy.

Now this isn't to say traditional print media doesn't have it's problems. I know that for a fact; they are hidebound, full of dinosaurs, and keep pushing to an aging customer base (middle aged and older, plus married couples with children are my best customers) and are struggling to figure out their place in the world. That is more due to corporate stupidity than irrelevance of the medium itself. The Lawrence World has proven that newspapers can be fresh, relevant and current in the 21st century, while maintaining a print and digital identity.

The market now isn't in passing out AP wire stories about Obama's latest speech, or the oil spill in the Gulf. It's about providing in depth coverage of LOCAL news, LOCAL issues, and LOCAL events. The Internet is providing the best medium for major stories that appeal to a large audience. National news bureaus, and those who produce stories to journalistic standards of facts and sources can quickly push major stories. But local newspapers are still your best source for covering the issues that matter little outside of a given community. The trick is getting both the industry and the public to recognize this fact. In the meantime, it's quite a painful transition for everyone.

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Thoughts on dead tree media

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  • What you're up against, is the notion that what matters little outside of a given community, matters little.

    People care less about, or are encouraged to care less about, local issues. It's a *global* economy. And environment. And war on terror. Etc. I.e. no matter who's doing the talking and what interest they represent, it's all about a global level of awareness and focus. How we must all think on that level, as we're all tied into each other on that level.

    Local news becomes as important as the local weath

    • And I deal with a lot of that everyday. Especially where I live we have a lot of people who think they are "socially aware". Who cares about the issues where they live, work and play? It's much more fashionable to shake your fist at BP, than it is to address the issue of just WHY a four block stretch of 4th Avenue attracts so many homeless, and street punks. One requires armchair politicking, and the other requires actually doing something.

      And you hit the nail on the head. Diversity of views and opini

      • than it is to address the issue of just WHY a four block stretch of 4th Avenue attracts so many homeless, and street punks

        I'm guessing some sort of cheap coffee shop/donut shop is involved.

        Perhaps the problem isn't so much that dead tree media in and of itself is obsolete, but rather traditional reporting, investigation and journalism is dying; regardless of the medium.

        This [rollingstone.com] might be relevant to your interests, as might this. [tinyrevolution.com] Plenty more at that second link. SPOILER: They're not dying, they've
        • The point is, it's easier and more fashionable for people to wring their hands about something on the other side of the world than it is to confront a solveable problem in their own backyard.
          • Well, using only the examples you've supplied, you've have to be retarded to think that the BP oil spill is in any way less important than the "punks" that litter one section of one particular street of the town you live in.

            Maybe you were thinking about something else?
  • The whole point is that people like to denounce dead tree media, and at the same time strut around feeling wordly while ignoring the issues that affect them locally (which may very well be the BP spill). I hear people every day saying "Oh I just get my news online." When I prod them further, they have no clue what is happening locally, and will freely admit "I don't care what happens locally, I just care about *the world*".

    So is dead tree media declining because people don't care enough about local issu

    • by Bill Dog (726542)

      And you've hit on the whole safety aspect, that I'd overlooked. Not only are we trained to feel superior by thinking pretty much exclusively only broadly (e.g. you're "retarded" if you don't think the BP oil spill, which there's nothing you can do about and will eventually be cleaned up and pass without too much ramnification, is waaay more important than one worthless street in your worthless podunk town and the worthless lives of the people who live on that street who are prolly uneducated backwards-think

      • Yup. Think about the stuff we can't change, and flee from that which we can. People nearly get starry eyed, or act smugly superior when they grandly pronounce "I get my news from 'the internet'" or "I'm a citizen of 'the world' and that's more important because it all resonates down to the local level." The internet just makes it easier to filter news and soundbites to fit your comfort zone. I just wonder if newspapers can survive that way of thought.
        • by Bill Dog (726542)

          Plus the print media is a push model. Editors select what's important for me and deliver it to my door step, where I take into my home what someone else has chosen for me to consider worthy of my attention and for me to read. The Internet news model is not really much different, as it's still a select sample of news and what to think about it. But it gives the illusion that the reader is deciding what to take in, as articles not specifically opted-into are not "delivered" to the reader. I don't see how dead

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