Posts about News

How quaint

Two quotables on this thing we call a newspaper. This one from ArtDodger in the comments on my post below on imploding newspaper circulation:

This business of pureeing trees and wringing cuttlefish to make the day’s transient news permanent seems positively archaic, doesn’t it?

This one from a comment on Attytood [via Porter]

It’s a product you have to go and get in the rain, snow or wind and pull out of the hedge, the leaves or a coin-eating box on a dirty street corner. It’s heavy. It’s big. You’re not interested in 90% of its content. And when you’re done with it, you — literally — have to wash your hands and figure out how to properly dispose of the thing.

: More newspaper quotes here, here, and here. Among them:

Half the American population no longer reads newspapers: plainly, they are the clever half. — Gore Vidal

People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news. — A.J. Liebling

It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper. — Jerry Seinfeld

Trees rejoice

The Audit Bureau of Circulations is coming out with its report on newspaper popularity (what else should we call sales) and it’s going to be bad. The Wall Street Journal (free link) sums up the numbers:
: Gannett down 2.5 percent
: Knight Ridder down 2.9 percent
: Tribune Company down 4 percent (not including scandal-scarred Newsday)

More numbers from E&P:

: “McClatchy is breaking its 20-year winning streak this period. Daily circulation dropped around 1% while there was a “steeper decline” on Sunday.”
: Knight Ridder’s breakdown: down 2 percent daily, 3.5 percent Sunday.
: Belo’s Dallas Morning News: down 7 percent.
: Providence Journal down 2 percent.
: Riverside Press-Enterprise down 3 percent daily, 4 percent Sunday.
: Boston Globe down 7.7 percent daily, 7 percent Sunday.
: NYTimes up 0.4 percent daily, 0.1 percent Sunday. “The increases came mostly from the paper’s national effort. Circulation for the New York City area declined.

Youch.

: Notable quotes above.

Late news is bad news

Well, the good news is that NBC is going to stream its nightly news online. The bad news is that they’re going to do it three and a half hours after the show airs in the east…. for the obvious reason that they don’t want to piss off west-coast affiliates. Still, can’t they all see the absurdity of this, on its face: Old news is not news, it’s just old. Why didn’t they give the affiliates all the right to show the news on their own sites? Why didn’t they all say that if they can get anyone under the age of 60 to watch their news anywhere anytime, they should thank their lucky news stars. This is why the future of news cannot come from the past of news: It is weighed down with deals and issues and precedents and contracts like Marley’s ghost.

Iraqi democracy

I will fully confess that I have been remiss in not linking to reports of the Iraqi constitutional vote. My fault.

But I will link to reports that voter turnout is even higher than it was in January and that there was opposition — what democracy does not? But it appears the constitution will pass.

These are a people who are dying to build a democracy. And we continue to have an obligation to help them. How we got there is not an excuse to abandon them and their quest to secure their freedom.

Plastic explosives


David Kline finds the ideal Christmas present for the age: The Playmobil airport security toy. Surely, I thought, this must be a joke. But, no, it’s really on the Playmobil site. Coming soon: subway bag checkers… Guantanamo interrogators… FEMA ice trucks…