FT’s Barber cuts to the heart of the press problem

October 13, 2008

Some interesting points from a weekend opinion piece by Financial Times Editor Lionel Barber.
Barber analyzed how the press — particularly in the United States — got to the miserable place that it’s in now. There are plenty of reasons having to do with business models and impatient Wall Street vultures, but Barber brought up an interesting idea: the mainstream media disenfranchised itself from the public’s trust as it became more cozy with its high-level sources — precisely at the time that the Internet started to annihilate the U.S. newspaper business model.

FT CEO spots green in the red

October 13, 2008

When the markets go south and most people are losing, it’s safe to say that there are some others who are winning, or at least spotting opportunities. You could say that about the Financial Times and its chief executive, John Ridding, who is finding a business angle on what they say about the editor’s decision-making process: “If it bleeds, it leads.”The London-based FT is building up a pretty good head of steam, particularly in the United States, as the effects of the financial crisis ooze into yet more corners of Wall Street and Main Street (sick of the “streets” cliche yet?). Here’s evidence, some of which Ridding gave me when we had breakfast at Michael’s last week:

My house, worth more than Journal Register?

October 2, 2008

I was reading a Forbes article about the distressing state of some of the worse-off U.S. newspaper publishers and how their debt threatens to send them into default, or worse yet, maybe out of business. That’s when I came across this distressing nugget:

Breakingviews breaks in to The Wall Street Journal

October 1, 2008

wall-st-journal.JPG

The Wall Street Journal recently stopped carrying the Breakingviews business analysis column in favor of its expanded in-house Heard on the Street column, but Breakingviews still managed to crash the party in Wednesday’s paper. In true merry-prankster mode, the Breakingviews ad urges readers of Heard on the Street to think about what they’re missing and how to get a new fix. What the ad doesn’t mention is that The New York Times picked up Breakingviews for its business section just after the WSJ dropped it. Such a move would be a real paper cut.

McClatchy: three new publishers in two days

September 30, 2008

mcclatchy2.jpgMcClatchy Co, fresh off amending the terms on paying back its debt, is busy making some changes at its newspapers. The owner of the Miami Herald and Sacramento Bee has replaced three publishers in the past two days. We don’t yet know if this is coincidence or part of a coordinated move.

Rolling stones with McClatchy’s Pruitt

September 11, 2008

mcclatchy1.jpgMcClatchy Chief Executive Gary Pruitt is one of those newspaper executives a reporter can get along well with because of qualities that are not always common to your typical CEO:

First-time voters want *less* election news

September 8, 2008

yawning-boy.jpgI’m skipping the attempt at a witty first sentence and going straight to the press release:

Tribune unplugged

August 26, 2008

mainframe.JPGWhat will the newspaper of the 21st century look like? Can Tribune cut its way to growth?

NewsCred: You rank the credibility of news

August 19, 2008

newspapers.jpgDigg gained plenty of press because it let its users determine the popularity of various news articles. A new website, NewsCred, is taking a different approach: it lets readers rank the credibility of the news itself.

The media, the economy and you

August 18, 2008

tv-reporter.jpgMedia coverage of economic troubles in the past 18 months has shifted repeatedly in the last year from a narrative about mortgages to one about recession, a banking crisis and now largely gas prices, according to a new report from the Project for Excellence in Journalism in Washington, D.C.