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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

“That has never happened before.”

The life and death of newspapers. H/ T Bob Tarantino.

That is uncharted territory. As Shirky points out, “There is no general model for newspapers to replace the one the Internet just broke.” Crawley speaks of Stackhouse pushing for the paper to be more “authoritative,” a word that could also describe his management style. Three days after his appointment, the new editor flew to Ottawa to tell the bureau he wanted it to concentrate more on policy and governance, less on partisan feuding or gossip. Last week, a senior official in the PMO marvelled that a Globe reporter called to check a fact, noting: “That has never happened before.”

Posted by Richard Anderson on July 28, 2009 | Permalink

Comments

Unfortunately, this apparently honest and well-meaning individual has yet to learn what most professional newsmen already know: facts don't sell copy.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-07-28 8:23:01 AM


Shane, good point. I would refine that though to say the media will do what it takes to sell copy. Facts? OK. Fiction? That's OK too.

Posted by: TM | 2009-07-28 10:26:31 AM


While the cynicism in me would agree with Shane and TM, I can nevertheless hope that this is the beginning of a return to real journalism. I wish him all the best.

Posted by: Alain | 2009-07-28 10:35:02 AM


TM, reality is occasionally more entertaining than fiction. It's hard to top men walking on the Moon, or fanatics flying airliners into office buildings. The relative sizes of the documentary industry and Hollywood, however, demonstrate how rare this is. And as Michael Moore, Oliver Stone, and the CBC have shown us, even documentaries can be works of fiction.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-07-28 12:36:35 PM


And as Michael Moore, Oliver Stone, and the CBC have shown us, even documentaries can be works of fiction.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-07-28 12:36:35 PM

You forget Al Gore and David Suzuki! ;-)

It would be nice to see the news media return to some hard news presenting hard facts. Spin isn't required, just facts. Can you imagine how badly our politicicians would squirm if they were actually spot lighted? Might lead to a whole new style of government...an honest one?

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-07-29 6:19:57 AM


Spin is what sells copy, JC. Most people could care less about the actual information, unless it affects them somehow. What they really want is to be entertained. Imparting the correct spin helps you connect with your readership. In this sense newsmen are little different from politicians. Bread and circuses lives.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-07-29 7:38:39 AM


Bread and circuses lives.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-07-29 7:38:39 AM

Indeed.

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-07-29 7:48:50 AM


>>Unfortunately, this apparently honest and well-meaning individual has yet to learn what most professional newsmen already know: facts don't sell copy.

People like to read both the Positive spins and real down dirty gossip or dirt .. yes that is what sells.

such as

Alberta • Civil Service Here come the cuts Published July 30, 2009 Even as Ed Stelmach was uttering, “As long as I’m premier of this province, there will be no tax increases. Simple,” we’re certain visions of a long-treasured list of cuts were dancing in his head. And the first on that list, apparently, was the civil service, which is now under a hiring freeze. Again, in Stelmach’s own words: “I don’t want to underestimate the difficulties we’re going to face as Albertans. We may go back to the same strategies we used in the early 1990s,” Even though Slippery Stelmach was presented to voters in March 2006 as change from within the party, he was a cabinet minister during the slash-and-cut Klein years, not to mention a member of the Deep Six, a group of fiscally ultra-conservative Tories. At a time when even Stephen Harper has endorsed a record deficit to keep the recession at bay, Stelmach is still clinging to his ideological background. Albertans will suffer for it.

Alberta • Children’s Services Embarrassing lack of responsibility Published July 30, 2009 The Department of Children’s Services was under fire again this week, this time from the courts. Court of Appeal Justice Jean Côté has called for an investigation into the department, and has rejected an appeal by director Richard Ouellet, who has been charged with contempt of court. The department failed to follow a previous court order to return a boy in its care to his foster mother. Although this is the most recent problem to pop up, it’s hardly the most shocking. In March, NDP MLA Rachel Notley brought to light the story of a 15-month-old boy who received life-threatening head injuries while in a foster home. The NDP also released reports from the provincial children’s advocate that were delayed in reaching the public. As the opposition parties have requested, a full public inquiry into the department is necessary, as is the creation of an independent children’s advocate.

http://www.seemagazine.com/article/news/comment/rewind0730/

Posted by: ex CONSERVATIVE | 2009-07-30 6:18:12 AM


-Last week, a senior official in the PMO marvelled that a Globe reporter called to check a fact, noting: “That has never happened before.”

Too little, too late.
A bandaid on a sucking chest wound.

Posted by: Speller | 2009-07-30 3:16:23 PM


Too little, too late.
A bandaid on a sucking chest wound.

Posted by: Speller | 2009-07-30 3:16:23 PM

Ain't that the truth though?

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-07-30 3:28:10 PM


@ the Original JC "It would be nice to see the news media return to some hard news presenting hard facts. Spin isn't required, just facts. Can you imagine how badly our politicicians would squirm if they were actually spot lighted? Might lead to a whole new style of government...an honest one?"

As a disillusionist journalist I can tell you we are at the mercy of editors. The editors are at the mercy of the editor-in-chief. The editor in chief must obey the publisher and all the publisher is concerned is with making money and pleasing the advertisers.

Newspapers don't even check facts anymore, and reporters are always looking to be first at the next big scoop. The problem is not the media, the problem is those in charge of the news are giving people what they want.

Posted by: Doug Gilchrist | 2009-07-30 6:17:06 PM


They fired you, didn't they, Doug?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-07-30 6:48:55 PM


The problem is not the media, the problem is those in charge of the news are giving people what they want.

Posted by: Doug Gilchrist | 2009-07-30 6:17:06 PM

And if we go far enough up the ladder who do we meet? Where are these directions coming from?
The very people who want you to believe that paper money is real I'll betcha!

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-07-30 7:30:53 PM



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