Thursday, December 11, 2008

MediaWatch 11 December 08

No doubt about it, traditional media is having a long, hard "bad day." Capital Region Television is navigating thru the choppy waters (barely) by tossing some people overboard while others jump ship.

To the west of us, notes Lite Rock 105.9 (WLTI) has filled the morning drive vacancy created by the dismissal of Dave Allen earlier this year, and it has signed with a syndicated talent for the midday shift.

Farther west, is reporting that Time Warner Cable is moving west with its web of all-news cable channels upstate. Albany's Capital News 9, Syracuse's News 10 Now and Rochester's R News will be getting a Buffalo-based sibling next year, to be seen on the western New York systems Time Warner picked up in the collapse of Adelphia. There's no word yet on the new channel's name or dial position - or on how much of its content will come from the hubs that already allow the existing upstate channels to share weather forecasts, news reports and even anchors.

Beyond: John Gapper on asks "Who will mourn local newspapers?"
Many American journalists, facing job losses and the death of an industry they loved, regard it as a tragedy not just for them but for society. They fear that television, radio and blogs can never replace what newspapers provided for readers.

Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, put the point succinctly to National Public Radio earlier this month: “Good journalism does not come cheap. And, therefore, you’re not going to find a lot of blogs or non-profit websites that are going to build a Baghdad bureau.”

Up to a point, Lord Keller. The failure of papers will deprive US readers – and those in countries where similar forces are at work – of plenty of useful information. But, let us face it, the industry also plays host to an immense amount of duplication and self-indulgence.

The internet brought trouble for regional and city papers not only because it gave an outlet to bloggers, and broke the monopoly they had on classified and display advertising, but because it let Philadelphians, for example, peruse publications other than the Inquirer.

There are things you can only learn about Philadelphia from the Inquirer, or Chicago from the Tribune, or Miami from the Herald. If they went away, they would also take with them a check on local abuses of political power, as the phone-tapped desire of Rod Blagojevich, the governor of Illinois, to get his critics on the Tribune fired shows.
No doubt BLOGS = POWER: here's what happens when a blog gets "Drudged."

Cuts are on the way at Newsweek Magazine.

The economy is also impacting those outside the mainstream.
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