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‘Daily Show’ Skewers New York Times

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Posted on Jun 11, 2009
comedycentral.com

The “Daily Show’s” Jason Jones kicks the Gray Lady while she’s down with this uncompromising look at the day-old news business.

Daily Show:

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By Steve, June 12, 2009 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment
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Russian Paul,  I agree. A ‘skewering’ to me is much worse.

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By steve, June 12, 2009 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment
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I think one of the fundamental problems is that news is a means to generate profit before it’s a means to inform citizens.  This institutionalized pressure plays out in two broad ways: 1) money brought into the organization and, 2) expenses paid out.  First, for generating money, it means making money through advertising.  So papers must use their content to attract readers whom the advertisers want to reach, rush to get a story our early (to help attract the “right” readers), and not offen those readers the industry sells to advertisers (thus their sensitivity to “objectivity” based on public opinion rather than empirical reality/support).  Second, regarding expenses, it means reducing the number of reporters (e.g., lay-offs) and places worthy of reporting on (e.g., foreign bureaus), and the amount of time/resources invested into a story. Sociologists and Communications scholars have written about this structural feature of the news media and predicted this kind of eventual struggle and decline for the past almost 40 years, it’s really rooted in the structure of the industry. The internet is more a nail in the coffin rather than the real culprit. 

Ironically, the NY Times had a story several months ago titled something like “News you can Endow” about creating an endowment to fund news.  I kind of like that idea.  Robert McChesney (a renowned communications scholar) recently gave a speech in Portland, OR about creating a public trust to fund an independent (the key word) public news media (not PBS).  Among other things, he suggested spending roughly $60 billion over three years to create an endowment to fund an independent public news media system.  The money could come from fees paid by commercial media for broadcast licenses, a tax on radio and television advertising (paid for by the advertisers, not the general public), and an annual spectrum fee paid by commercial broadcasters to use the public airwaves (which I believe are used for free now).  None of these would require much from the general public in terms of expenses.  Those are just some of the suggestions.  People are writing about these things, it’s just not making into the public discourse.  I put a link to his talk above.

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By JupiterInLeo, June 12, 2009 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

The “money quote” example of the big problem newspapers are facing:  “Show me one thing in there that’s from today.”  Just a few years ago, well-written research about “yesterday’s news” was what we wanted.  Now we just want it now.  And often, at the cost of the “well-written” and “research” parts.

It would seem to me that newspapers could (and should) figure out how to make a living providing both—the well-written articles of a “newspaper” and the up-to-the-second breaking news on a “news blog” of some sort.

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By Purple Girl, June 12, 2009 at 4:36 am Link to this comment

Lack of curiosity and sheer laziness has killed the newspapers, and will ultimatley kill Cable ‘news’.
There is no intellectual inquiry, no investigative reporting, only regurgitation of whatever is fed to them- regardless of ulterior motive or accuracy.
Granted there are writers I do enjoy- but it’s only becaue I share their opinions. They provide me no new insight, no new factual tidbit-Nothing more than Op-eds. Reason the term ‘Journalist’ is not only obsolete,But frankly a Misrepresentation.
Newspapers Journalist used to push Poltiicans, Industrial Honchos, and Criminal investigators to act/respond (Resign from Office), Now they just follow them around like puppy dogs, salivating on their every word.
Investigative inquiry is now in the hands of everyone with a computer, internet connection and an engine search. Otherwise mere victims of MSM Medias ‘for Hire’ status as a propaganda Mill (Depts of the Ministry of Truth).

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By Russian Paul, June 12, 2009 at 1:16 am Link to this comment

um, I’m not sure when the “skewering” took place. At least he mentioned how the NYT drummed up support for the invasion of Iraq.

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