Nov 29, 2007

Insights into the obvious

AJR editor Rem Rieder reminds us that starvation is not a healthy diet.

More specifically, he calls for a ban on the "do more with less" pap being spouted by publishers and executive editors overseeing shrinking newsrooms (which most of them are).

Says Rieder: The "do more with less" silliness is bad enough when it comes from other industries. But it's particularly appalling when it comes from people who are in the truth-telling business.

Glad someone is saying it, even if it is 5 years too late. But Rieder never makes the turn to ask why: Why is corporate speak so common in the newsroom these days?

It's not a passive response to fears about dwindling profits, it's an active incursion perpetrated by people who've always resented the fact that editorial was protected from profit concerns.

Now, the other parts of the newspaper want editorial to step up and generate the profits needed so they can survive. To do this they are transforming the newsroom from a thing protected from corporate pressure into a thing that responds to corporate pressure. Corporate speak is just the outward sign of this.

Words are important.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bill Keller, doing the zero-sum shuffle: "As journalists resign or retire from the Company next year, we will be trying to fill their positions internally."

And what's with referring to the Times as "the Company" instead of "the newspaper?"