Tuesday, September 08, 2009

An informed public requires an informed media (with correction)

A follow up to my earlier essay "They want us to pay for this junk":

In a finger wagging column dated Tuesday, September 08, 2009, the Post-Star's fearless leader Ken Tingley wrote: President Obama will be speaking to the nation tonight at 8 p.m. I like it when presidents address the nation. I think it is important. I think it is our civic duty to sit there and listen. And unfortunately, it is a good bet that more than half of us will be watching something like a Seinfeld re-run. And, yes, there is something wrong with that.

I thought it was the most fundamental duty of journalists to get the facts right.

Pres. Obama may well be one of those watching Seinfeld re-runs tonight Sept. 8, because his address to the nation will be on Sept. 9... tomorrow night.

Correction: I've been informed that this was the result of a technical error. Specifically, that the date stamp reflects when the piece was published to the website, not the date it was published in the newspaper. The phrasing in the piece was presumably written based upon the print publishing date. Hopefully, this is a glitch that the paper's web staff can address. Apologies for the erroneous assumption. Thanks to the source who provided this information.


PlanetAlbany said...

You're gonna miss newspapers when they're gone, and saving them is not as easy as I think you think.

Brian said...

I keep hearing that sentiment and, as a regular newspaper PURCHASER, it may be true but it's a lame defense against shoddy journalism and plummeting quality nor is it particularly effective marketing strategy?

Newspapers need to change or they will die. That's not my wish. It's just reality. I maintain that they need to focus like a laser beam on what makes them unique, on what distinguishes them from any of the thousands of free media sites out there: local, local, local.

I don't know if this is going to be "easy," but I'm pretty sure this is the only strategy that has even a chance of working. I certainly haven't heard any other strategies that inspire confidence.

Brian said...

Incidentally, my basis for comparison of the present Post-Star is not the New York Times or Washington Post of today but the Post-Star of even 10-15 years ago.

PlanetAlbany said...

i.e. back when they had more staff. Tis a vicious circle (cycle?).
That said, being a harrumphing social conservative, I didn't like their editorial "boo" on Monday denouncing critics of the Athol swingers club. Pulitzer bah humbug.

Brian said...

I think death spiral is the phrase. There really isn't an easy solution. I just think local, local, local is the only one that has a chance of working. In this era, I don't think global and national news capsules add enough to be worth the expense. No one reads the Post-Star or Saratogian for world or national news.