Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Stenography has consequences

The traditional media blithely took dictation for the Bush administration and are in some ways as responsible for the economic mess we're in now, as the banksters. They've served their corporate masters in talking down the Obama administration's attempts at recovery. They failed to provide the context to the GOP agenda of failure that would have prevented the worst of the false GOP narratives to get legs. They felt secure in their special place in the Village. The economy didn't affect their lifestyles, so they merrily plyed the horserace narrative for at least three years running now.

Well it's all fun, until somebody gets downsized. Hot on the heels of the shakedown at CBS, now it's ABC cutting 20% of their news staffers. That's about 300+ jobs.
Forced to belt-tighten by the weak advertising market, network executives have opted to restructure the labor-heavy newsroom from top to bottom in favor of a leaner, more nimble operation, according to multiple sources. Many of those remaining in the pared-down news division will be expected to both produce and shoot their own stories, acting as “one-man bands,” a model increasingly being adopted in television news.
Of course, the ad market is weak at least partly because of the economy. Maybe if they had been more skeptical of unfunded wars and Bushenomic booms, there would be more money to go around. Additionally, they're losing their market share of ad revenue to online sites because the gossip posing as news model simply doesn't work for their medium. The young people will go to the internets because they're faster and do the gossip better and with more snark than is allowed in the tradmed. The old people who don't use the internets are sick of the gossip and have tuned out.

Downsizing may save them for a while, but in the long term, the news industry is going to die unless they figure out what they can deliver that the internets can't -- fact based investigative reporting that's willing to call a lie -- a lie. Sadly, I doubt in the chase for profits that they'll realize it in time to save themselves.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]


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Blogger Ruth said...

Soon the news room will consist of recorders dropped off at pressers and picked up to be fed directly into the composition site. Cheaper to eliminate the middle steno.

8:57:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Sadly, I find that an entirely plausible scenario.

12:32:00 PM  

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