Tuesday, April 26, 2005

OK, one more

Dang it. Just when you say you're not going to post, someone like Nicole points you to a great article that sums up a lot of the industry's problems nicely. This one's from Variety's Brian Lowry.

A couple of excerpts:

Moreover, a Journal story this week noted execs have begun to emphasize "readership" -- that is, the "quality" of who peruses their pages -- as opposed to circulation.

A good rule of thumb: Anyone attempting to change the rules during the game isn't operating from a position of strength.

MUCH HAS BEEN MADE of eroding public trust toward journalists, but those charges too often reference so-called liberal bias when the more insidious problem involves "sensationalism bias" -- overreaching to "sell" stories, driven by ambition at the expense of accuracy, potentially alienating all sides of the political spectrum.

Although casual readers might not even consciously recognize this hyperbolic drift, it's a factor in their disdain and a reason why so many gee-whiz stories quickly fade. Anecdotal trends under titillating headlines (witness the recent hubbub over the New York Times' "man date" feature) lack the weight to withstand a cool breeze. This hunger for "impact" also leads to cutting corners, as the Detroit Free Press' Mitch Albom did by filing a past-tense NCAA Final Four column prior to the event, suggesting the five people he's met on Earth didn't include a copy editor.


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