Archive for dying newspapers

Twofer: Hispanics aren't casting ballots; the political "news" media is MIA

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hispanics vote logo

I read the New York Times headlines every morning on my trusty New York Times app. When my barely-open eyes are able to focus, I link over to read the ones that grab me. Two very important headlines did just that, one about Hispanics, and one about the national "news" media:

Let's take them one at a time, starting with local journalists leaving beltway reporters in the dust with their mouths hanging open and their eyes popping out:

help!

All politics is local, which may explain why The Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Chesterfield Observer both took David Brat’s Tea Party challenge to Mr. Cantor seriously [...] Congressional races are a mess to cover because there are so many of them... The math of covering someone who may become one of only 100 senators is far easier. [...]

No one wants to stray from the white-hot center of power for fear of being stuck in some forsaken locale when something big happens in Washington — which is why it has become one of the most overcovered places on earth.

That Beltway provincialism is now multiplied by the diminution of nonnational newspapers. The industry as a whole is about half as big as it was in 2007, with regional newspapers suffering acute cutbacks. [...] Plenty of reporters are imprisoned in cubes in Washington, but stretched news organizations aren’t eager to spend money on planes, rental cars and hotel rooms so that employees can bring back reports from the hustings. While the Internet has been a boon to modern reporting ... it tends to pin journalists at their desks.[...]

The quants took a beating on this one, partly because journalists are left to read the same partisan surveys and spotty local reporting as Mr. Cantor’s campaign staff, whose own polling had him up by more than 30 points.

That made MY eyes pop out. Well, actually, it didn't. It did, however, reinforce what I already knew about news coverage, and that's pretty frustrating. So what it really did is made me do this:

banghead gif

On to Hispanics, another frustrating report, because it examines why they don't make it to the polls, what's preventing them, and how change is inevitable. Fortunately, this piece has a happier ending:

One reason is that no demographic group is more marginalized in American elections than Hispanics. Many are ineligible to vote, while those who can vote often do not or are concentrated in noncompetitive districts and states. [...]

The explanation for the gap starts with the most basic rules of voter eligibility. [...] Eligible Hispanics are also less likely to vote than other Americans. A big part of the reason is demographic: Hispanics are younger than other Americans, and voters of all racial and ethnic backgrounds become significantly more likely to vote as they age. [...]

The power of Hispanic voters is further diluted by geography... Finally, Hispanic voters are concentrated in noncompetitive states and districts, diminishing their role in the most important races.[...]

Hispanics are earning more clout in presidential elections. It is in those elections, not in the fight for Congress, where Hispanics could ultimately force the hand of Republicans.[...] In time, the political underrepresentation of Hispanics will end. The Hispanic share of the electorate will steadily increase... But for now, Hispanic voters will struggle to get their voices heard.

Please link over and read the parts I left out. These are two very important articles that answer a few questions, pose a few more, and explain why so many of our heads are exploding on a daily basis.

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Liz Cheney: "Newspapers are dying, and that's not a bad thing."

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stfu lights camera

Most people know that Liz Cheney is running for a U.S Senate seat in Wyoming; of course, as with Daddy Dick, controversy has followed her everywhere, and for good reason. One recent public collision resulted in this from Alan Simpson, a response to Mommy Dearest Lynne Cheney's "shut up": "You are going to get facts without rumor & innuendo, BS & mush."

Here are a few more hot potatoes, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times:

For all her pugnacity, however, Cheney has spent much of the early campaign on the defensive.

She was late on her property tax bill because, she said, of a misunderstanding about the terms of the sale. She sparked a family squabble by declaring her opposition to same-sex marriage. "I love my sister," responded Mary Cheney, who is gay and married to a longtime partner. "But she is dead wrong."

Perhaps most significantly, it was revealed that Liz Cheney received a state fishing license 72 days after closing on her Wyoming home, a violation of the law requiring residents to live in the state 365 consecutive days.

blame game smaller

But check out who Ms. Patriotic Defender of the Constitution blamed and what she thinks of one of our most venerable, prevalent, and dependable sources of news and information:

Cheney blamed a clerical error and slammed the newspaper editor who reported that she paid a $220 fine.

"Newspapers are dying, and that's not a bad thing," she told a tea party gathering. "We're not depending on the Jackson Hole News & Guide to get the news out. We're depending on ourselves. We're going over their heads."

This from the Dickette who set out to convince America that she champions the First Amendment like nobody's business, especially if it means smearing President Obama:

Cheney claims that Obama has "literally declared war" on the First and Second amendments to the United States Constitution as well as the interests of Wyoming ranchers and energy workers who face regulations from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.[31]

Of course, the most preposterous part of that statement was "We're depending on ourselves." Yes, let's all depend on the tea party to accurately report and investigate news stories, you know, so we don't have to.

Then again, this implies that she trusts peons like me, a self-reliant blogger, to "get the news out" more than she trusts one of Rupert Murdoch's big news outfits.

Just as banks and corporations thrive on pushing laws to regulate themselves, Li'l Liz would prefer that we rely on ourselves (read: her political allies) to provide and oversee as much right wing and/or self-serving misinformation as possible.

As for those pesky newspapers, they should all just die.

Freedom of the press, my ass.

bias liberal media my ass smaller

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Doonesbury: "Where's the newspaper?" "It folded."

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reading newspaper

Doonesbury newspaper folded

"Where's the newspaper?"

"It folded."

See what Garry Trudeau did there?

And see what the newspaper industry is doing? It's folding, too, to my dismay. Maybe it will thrive online-- eventually-- and maybe billionaires like Jeff Bezos will be the ones to save them, but if so, save them at what cost to journalism?

How much (more) political influence will the Bezoses of the world exert, if any? How will journalism of the future look? Will objective reporting survive, or will opinion news swallow up what's left of real news? Will commercializing the news business even more doom it completely, or will the pendulum eventually swing back in favor of what many of us yearn for: quality, accurate, truthful reporting?

To quote Michael J. Doonesbury, "Gaaaah!"

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VIDEO-- How to stop the Koch Bros, take power back from corporations: "Reinvent the way media looks and acts."

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koch bros murdoch buying newspapers

In November 2012, I wrote BIG problem: Former News Corp. exec expected to head Tribune Co., Rupert Murdoch eyes LA Times, Chicago Tribune.

Back in April, I wrote The Koch Bros., who plan to buy up 8 major newspapers, “see the conservative voice as not being well represented.” Um…:

Think Progress:

Right-wing funders and business industrialists David and Charles Koch may purchase the Tribune Company newspapers, which include the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and the Los Angeles Times. The brothers are “interested in the clout they could gain through the Times’ editorial pages,” the Hollywood Reporter notes.

Under the circumstances, saying this is a serious concern is an understatement.

I'm an L.A. Times subscriber and if these corporate conservative monsters take over, it would be disastrous. I would immediately cancel my subscription and campaign for others to do the same.

Or I could introduce a lot of people to this. Via Free the Press, Buy the Tribune Company:

Corporate media is ruining the integrity of news. Winning the Tribune Company back might just start moving the tide in a different direction. Consider this an experiment that could have an enormous positive ripple effect for democracy.

Americans have said, time and time again, that they trust public and community media much more than corporate media. What if that extended not just to their radio or TV set but their local paper again?

Together we can make history. Really.

Can't contribute? That doesn't mean you can't help take back the media!

Spread the word, tell your social network on Facebook and Twitter. We're going to need as many people as possible to help out if we are going to meet our goal of raising $660 Million.

Also make sure to like The Other 98% on Facebook for even more opportunities to  bring down the corporatocracy.

Please watch the entire video and then link over, there is much more, including a bunch of cool graphics.

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Toilet Paper Will Be More Credible Than the Chicago Tribune Newspapers if Kochs Buy Them

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Via democurmudgeon.blogspot.com

Via democurmudgeon.blogspot.com

As I posted the other day, the Koch brothers are trying to take control of what we see, hear, and read in the Los Angeles Times and about seven other media outlets. They actually said that they want to “make sure our voice is being heard” and that “they see the conservative voice as not being well represented.” I wish I were kidding.

I've written about this a couple of times, and now my pal Mark Karlin has his own piece about it in Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout:

The creditors apparently want to sell the unprofitable newspapers but keep the lucrative television stations, radio stations, real estate and other profitable and potentially profitable divisions of the Tribune Company. [...]

Harold Meyerson writes in the Washington Post a virtual R.I.P. to the Los Angeles Times, in which he laments:

... Their purchase offer won’t be buttressed by a record of involvement in or commitment to journalism on their part. But it will come complete with a commitment to journalism as a branch of right-wing ideology….

The bankers’ men on the Tribune board likely view the sale of the papers as a financial transaction, pure and simple. But Times readers (and the Koch brothers themselves) would view a sale to the Kochs as a political transaction first and foremost, turning L.A.’s metropolitan daily into a right-wing mouthpiece whose commitment to empirical journalism would be unproven at best. A newspaper isn’t just a business; it’s also a civic trust. [...]

Indeed, the sale isn't final. In fact, negotiations are in the hush-hush/leak-leak stage. [...]

Furthermore, like the News World Media Development (a Unification Church affiliate) corporation-owned Washington Times and the Murdoch-owned New York Post, the Kochs can afford to run the papers at a loss in order to achieve their political goals through public influence. [...]

But there will be no question that with at least four major US papers potentially under the control of the Kochs, the national discourse will move even further to the right. And the Kochs can absorb the further financial losses incurred by increased cancelled subscriptions and the likely continued hemorrhaging of advertising dollars. Think of it as their "Americans for Prosperity" of the Fourth Estate. [...]

Just look what Americans for Prosperity and the recently shaken-up FreedomWorks accomplished: They put the House of Representatives under the control of a radical posse of Tea Party zealots in 2010, who block any legislation that can move the United States forward. Uh, that's about as big a return on investment as one can get – and the Kochs got it.

Please read the entire post here.

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Koch Bros., who plan to buy up 8 major newspapers, "see the conservative voice as not being well represented.” Um...

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nono

In November 2012, I wrote BIG problem: Former News Corp. exec expected to head Tribune Co., Rupert Murdoch eyes LA Times, Chicago Tribune.

I followed that up in March 2013 with If this report is true, I will cancel my subscription to the L.A. Times. That entry was in response to a report by Think Progress:

Right-wing funders and business industrialists David and Charles Koch may purchase the Tribune Company newspapers, which include the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and the Los Angeles Times. The brothers are “interested in the clout they could gain through the Times’ editorial pages,” the Hollywood Reporter notes.

Under the circumstances, saying this is a serious concern is an understatement.

Here we are a month later and Think Progress has a follow-up that has my stomach in knots. They're reporting that Charles and David Koch are still trying to get their extremely wealthy, extremely right wing hands on up to eight (!) U.S. news outlets, per the New York Times, including including The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, The Orlando Sentinel and The Hartford Courant.

See, they want to "make sure our voice is being heard." Note to Kochs: So do the rest of us.

They also have said that “they see the conservative voice as not being well represented.” We here at TPC beg to differ, or to put it another way:

bullshit alertThis proves that there is no such thing as a so-called "liberal media."

New York Times:

Politically, however, the papers could serve as a broader platform for the Kochs’ laissez-faire ideas. The Los Angeles Times is the fourth-largest paper in the country, and The Tribune is No. 9, and others are in several battleground states, including two of the largest newspapers in Florida, The Orlando Sentinel and The Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. A deal could include Hoy, the second-largest Spanish-language daily newspaper, which speaks to the pivotal Hispanic demographic.

As Think Progress notes, "The brothers also tried to influence the latest election by warning some 45,000 employees that there would be “consequences” if they didn’t vote for Republicans." Yes, that's exactly who should be running a big hunk of the media.

Freedom of the press is a right. Abusing it to spread their extremist propaganda would be reprehensible.

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If this report is true, I will cancel my subscription to the L.A. Times

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noooooooo

In November 2012, I wrote BIG problem: Former News Corp. exec expected to head Tribune Co., Rupert Murdoch eyes LA Times, Chicago Tribune.

Thankfully, that didn't happen, but something else did. Things just got worse.

Dear L.A. Times,

If you do what the report below says you may do, we will cancel our subscription, and we will suggest to everybody we know that they cancel theirs.

Sincerely,

Laffy

Via Think Progress:

Right-wing funders and business industrialists David and Charles Koch may purchase the Tribune Company newspapers, which include the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, and the Los Angeles Times. The brothers are “interested in the clout they could gain through the Times’ editorial pages,” the Hollywood Reporter notes.

Because, you know, the Koch brothers just don't have enough clout.

Via daromano

As I said back in November, feel free to contact the L.A. Times with a letter to the editor or their “convenient comment form.” For questions about journalistic standards, practices and accuracy, contact the Readers’ Representative Office by e-mail, phone (877) 554-4000 or fax (213) 237-3535.

help2

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