Newspaper Industry Takes Potentially Lethal Blow With Spinoffs

By: Monday August 11, 2014 8:54 am

We all knew this day would come. With the latest spinoff by Gannett of its extensive newspaper portfolio expected to be completed by the end of 2015, it now appears finance capital has written off the newspaper industry. On some level this was inevitable given the movement of advertising from print to the web, but [...]


FDL Movie Night: “Stripped”

By: Monday April 7, 2014 4:59 pm

Stripped is a loving and in-depth look at comic strips and the changes they are going through now as more and more newspapers shut down and technology advances. Like so many people, I loved reading the comic strips and cartoons in the papers–it was a huge leap for me as a kid when I went from B.C. and Peanuts to incorporating the Girls in 3-G and Mary Worth in my daily reading. And Doonesbury!! Total eye opener–I learned so much about politics and the world from Doonesbury, about (un)natural history from the Far Side, and about work and romance via Cathy. Not to mention Charles Schultz ruining the ending of Citizen Kane for me in a four panel strip I recall to this day…

Government Should Not Define What a Reporter Is – or Isn’t

By: Monday August 19, 2013 6:30 pm

Sen. Diane Feinstein and a horde of members of Congress of both parties want to decide who is and who isn’t a reporter. Sen. Feinstein says a “real” reporter is a “salaried agent of a media company.”

The reason she wants to define what a reporter is or isn’t is because there’s a federal Media Shield Law that protects reporters from revealing their sources. She wants to amend that to take away existing First Amendment protections from anyone not involved in—apparently—salaried establishment media.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Nicco Mele, The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath

By: Sunday May 26, 2013 1:59 pm

Nicco Mele is a man who knows the internet. The webmaster for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign in 2004 and the founder of a leading internet strategy firm, his discussion moves between the effect of Twitter on news reporting, Hollywood’s relationship with Netflix and Al Qaeda’s use of YouTube. These are only three of the many examples which make this book so interesting. The big ideas are sustained by engaging anecdotes.

The theme of Mele’s book is the effect of “radical connectivity”, which he describes as “our breathtaking ability to send vast amounts of data instantly, constantly and globally”, thus transforming politics, business and culture.

Cleveland Plain Dealer Dehumanizes Murdered Transgender Woman

By: Tuesday April 30, 2013 2:55 pm

Most newspapers leave the dehumanization of transgender people to the trolls in the online comments. But not Cleveland’s Plain Dealer. They bring the sewage right to the surface. Their article about the discovery of the body of a brutally murdered 20 year old African-American woman, C. Acoff, begins with the title “Oddly dressed body found in Olmsted Township pond identified”, and goes downhill from there. Here’s an excerpt:

America’s Culture Is Signing on the Dotted Line

By: Sunday March 3, 2013 8:18 am

There are innumerable problems in America’s educational systems. One is that the gap between the higher performing students and the lower performing students in all areas (including humanities, arts, and sciences) is increasing. Another is that educational systems, spurred by taxpayers who don’t want higher taxes, have learned not how to effectively cut expenses but have sacrificed education by packing more students into a classroom; almost every study (including the PISA testing) shows a link between class size and educational achievement.

In Praise of Local TV News

By: Sunday February 24, 2013 10:00 am

I will admit to having had a snobbish view towards local TV news for most of my adult life. I think it is at least somewhat justified; local TV news frequently has a disreputable whiff. Whether it’s the “if it bleeds, it leads” ethos, sweeps week stunts (this item is in almost all American households AND IT COULD KILL YOUR CHILDREN), large doses of pabulum delivered as News You Can Use, and so on – there is a lot to look down on.

Come Saturday Morning: Why Are Swedish Newspapers Thriving While US Ones Aren’t?

By: Saturday February 2, 2013 6:45 am

Towards the end of a March 17, 2012 speech at the Left Forum at New York City’s Pace University, Michael Moore made the interesting assertion that, unlike in the United States, Sweden’s newspapers were not only surviving, but thriving. The reason he gave for this was that Swedish newspapers depended more on circulation than advertising for their revenue.

I couldn’t help being intrigued by this, so I decided to do a little digging.

How the Major Newspapers Which Endorsed Obama Celebrate His Foreign Policy Record

By: Monday November 5, 2012 3:54 pm

The major newspaper endorsements indicate the makeover American superpower received when President Barack Obama was elected in 2008 worked. There is unanimous consensus among the top twenty newspapers that endorsed Obama that Obama repaired the image of America that was damaged by two terms of President George W. Bush.

Major Newspaper Endorsements for Obama: Reviewing Domestic Policies Which Received Praise

By: Monday November 5, 2012 11:30 am

Elections in the United States are a public relations industry. How a campaign convinces a newspaper to respond to its campaign is part of maintaining good relations with the public. Through top newspaper endorsements, one can tell how a campaign has been able to persuade establishment news media that it has the right message for the country, along with a record that is worthy of endorsement.

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