All roads lead to a cul-de-sac

I was hopeful for Jeff Greenfield’s segment on newspapers’ fate on CBS’ Sunday Morning today because I heard that they’d interviewed the team behind Baristanet and saw that they’d included Newser. Perhaps at last someone would concentrate on the people inventing the future of news. But, no. I’m afraid it all ended up at the same spot it always does: A newspaper guy complains that Baristanet and bloggers are pariahs. Geneva Overholser wrings her hands about newspapers. The guy who tried to save the Philadelphia newspapers but ran them into the ground pins his hope on – you guessed it – charging. Nothing new there. Same old, same old. Oh, for just one story that stipulates the sorry state of papers and the old arguments and instead talks only to innovators who are excited about news and are inventing its future.

  • invitedmedia

    not sure how close you’re following the “cul-de-sac” in detroit (considering your ann arbor ties), but the news and free press are both FREE tomorrow (nothing says “the newspaper is worth zero” better than giving it away!), and the macomb daily (whose parent company filed for re-org) has been rumored to be running tv ads.

    let’s see, tv numbers are headed in the same direction as newspapers, so let’s spend precious $$$ we don’t have THERE calling out the nearly dead news/free press’s decision to curtail home delivery.


  • Funny, I had the same reaction to that CBS Sunday Morning segment. A lot about what’s wrong with “alternative” news sources, but not much about what’s right with them.

  • Ted

    I was going to go try to find that piece… guess I don’t have to. See – one benefit of “alternative” news sources right there. Ten minutes of my life I would have never gotten back.

    Now, which blogs to spend it on…

  • invitedmedia

    could gannett have picked a worse day to give papers away in detroit?

    rick wagoner just resigned from gm.

    although, sitting in a panera bread where 1/2 dozen folks are online, word is spreading pretty quickly… and the free papers won’t be out for 12 hours.

  • I’m getting as tired as you of these boohoo stories followed by delusions of subscription walls. It seems like you have all the tools/people at CUNY to respond to your comment “Oh, for just one story that stipulates the sorry state of papers and the old arguments and instead talks only to innovators who are excited about news and are inventing its future.” From your past comments and what I saw at the New Business Models for News Summit, it seems like this would be a great project for a group of CUNY students — perhaps even a group in a class called Entrepreneurial Journalism :) I’d task them with finding every possible pocket of REVENUE (not cost cutting) success that is out there. You have a great bully pulpit to get people to contribute their piece. I’m convinced there are dozens of untold successes.

    I think you could not only get publishers but also some of the technology suppliers who serve this market. They’d be motivated to highlight the successes their partners have had. There must be dozens of these companies – WebVisible, Clickable, Digital Press Consortium, Mixpo…

  • Jeff,

    I can see why you’d conclude from the quotes Jeff Greenfield chose that I am “wringing my hands” about newspapers. But I’d have hoped you’d have known more about my work over the past several years than to think that this characterization would be “same-old/same-old: for me.

    I moved WAY past lamentation, years ago, and embraced change and innovation with gusto (as my faculty would assure you, some with perhaps some annoyance). I do think it’s true we haven’t seen the full menu of what will replace newspapers. But as the Greenfield interview would show, if we could see it all, I focused at least as much on the feast of new possibilities that are emerging.

    I look forward to our moving past this oversimplified side-taking period we seem to be in, and recognizing that a lot of us are in there pulling for a strong future for information in the public interest — each in our complex ways.


    • Geneva,
      I know that. I am talking about the packaging of the piece. It ends up in the same old spot, doesn’t it?

  • Well said, Jeff, once again. Now only if MSM would listen.

  • Not pariahs. The editor of the Montclair Times basically called us bloodsucking parasites. His exact words were “lamprey eel feeding off the work of another entity.”