Jul 8, 2012

Sunday resurrection and roundup

Billionaires to the rescue? 

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has an opinion piece calling on the deep pocketed to assist daily newspapers in their struggle to keep communities informed. 

I don't know. This feels too late and short sighted, since newspaper owners who think they know how to survive the game are usually the first to find out how little they really know.

Just ask the people working there: Romenesko

At this point, big checks would seem to do more to stave off the inevitable than rescue an industry that for too long lacked the humility to break up bad management structures. Instead it gutted newsrooms to ensure those at the top got their legacy pensions.

As scary fast as changes are coming now, it feels as if the corporate lamentations that pitted bottom lines against journalistic values have started to quiet. The stagnant business culture is starting to face its mortality. New lines of thought are sprouting.

Our job is to keep pushing the principles of good journalism (SCOTUSblog has gotten well-deserved attention today for doing just that) and hope the new business models coalesce around them.

Because with the big-check largesse of a single person or foundation comes demands. Look at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, which must contend with the singular benevolence of billionaire businessman and art (institution) collector Eli Broad: WWLA

Does this mean the L.A. Times should turn the $1-million grant from the Ford Foundation? No. But the survival of news gathering institutions is going to depend on the largesse of lots of little checks: donors, members, subscribers, listeners, readers, watchers. 


Anonymous said...


John Clifford said...

Great to have you back. THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

I guess we can expect a blog every seven months or so?

Anonymous said...

If the news gathering operations are going to depend on the donations of contributors, then, I am afraid that our independence as impartial will be soiled to some extent. Even in some small way, it is an obligation. Obligations color the playing field even if the intention is good.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you Gary, when you write "the survival of news gathering institutions is going to depend on the largesse of lots of little checks," but I don't know if the stagnation and corporate bottom line mentality has ended. All the "Digital First" talk at LANG, for example, as well as the flurry of hiring at management level, remains unimpressive to me and many of us because our interests haven't been met. If you're a reporter bringing home the same paycheck as a recreation leader from the city of Monrovia, then your main concern is your well being, not how many times you can tweet in a day, and how you're going to "storify" a council meeting. People may say, well, if you're only concerned about money, then get out of the business. And to that, I say, if you want me out of the business, then you probably make a lot of money.

And oh, it's good to have you back. Thanks for your insight.

Sabbir Ahmed said...

Thank You..Gsmmb

Anonymous said...

Another posting before the end of the year?

Anonymous said...

Is this site dead and gone forever?????

Anonymous said...

I see that the undertaker, ed moss is finally leaving the newspaper biz. celebrate one and all for dr death is no more.

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Anonymous said...

even the groundhog comes out once a year.

Anonymous said...

Where have all the gread ad people gone? The current crop of newspaper leaders couldn't sell an ad if someone came in and asked to buy one. Who is looking at rates? Who is looking at ways to maximize ehat is left? Who is looking at ways the institution has prevented sales to happen? Does anyone have any clue on what works?

Anonymous said...

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