A newspaper publisher lies

Just for the record and what it’s worth, in his speech arguing that newspapers are OK – really, they are – Louisville Courier-Journal publisher Arnold Garson lies about me. He says:

Jeff Jarvis is another consultant who has been very widely quoted about the pending death of newspapers. He has written such articles as “Hitting the coffin nail on the head for newspapers,” and “Why newspapers are . . .” ‚ I can’t say the word in polite company, but it starts with an F. He also is the author of the book, What Would Google Do? a fawning look at a company that has built a business model that is dependent, in part, on content taken from newspapers. But the key thing you need to know about Mr. Jarvis is that he does consulting work for new-media companies that compete directly with newspapers, and, thus has a vested interest in the economic decline of newspapers. The worse we do, the better he does.

In fact, the only companies that have paid me recently to consult or speak are newspaper and magazine companies here, in Germany, and in the U.K. I list all my clients on my disclosures page. I am a partner at Daylife and its largest clients are all mainstream news companies; the better they do, the better Daylife does. I will also work this summer on the New Business Models for News Project at CUNY to try to flesh out more revenue and business models for journalism; that is funded by the Knight, McCormick, and MacArther foundations.

Garson did not bother to research or check his facts and instead chose to libel me just because we disagree and I dare to criticize newspapers’ stewardship of journalism. Who does he think he is – a blogger?

I think Garson is also wrong about Google taking content rather than sending audience to him, but I’ll spare us the lecture on the link economy vs. the content economy.

And I think he’s wrong about newspapers. His first big defense of the state of their business is that they’re better off than car dealers and Realtors. That sure as hell ain’t saying much. And, of course, every time a dealer and an agent goes out of business, newspapers lose more business. But nevermind. The sand down here looks just fine. What newspapers need is not a defense but an offense.