A world without

Newspaper people were joking yesterday that the land line, cell phone, Internet disconnect was something more than a “vandals stole the handles” moment, but was actually evoking a time from the dim past when the printed word reigned.

As if.

Alas, we have seen the enemy and … the LA Times on Thursday ran a front page ad promoting an NBC TV series, designed to look like a news story. That was stupid and horrible enough — but now the latest in a series of quisling publishers for the once proud LAT actually said, according to the Times’ own story, that “he decided to run the NBC ad despite newsroom objections because he was trying to ensure that The Times could continue to operate.” LAT ad staff actually approached NBC with the concept.

LAT news staff have signed a petition protesting this latest embarrassment.

Not sure what more can be said about this.

As for saving other newspapers — the LAT seems beyond salvation, which, I understand, is nearly impossible, but they’re vying for such status — long-time industry analyst John Morton proposes his plan to save newspapers: And it is this — that all newspapers quickly agree to begin charging for Internet content.

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One Response to A world without

  1. RobtA says:

    Ah, I added my own remark about Internet content to your previous blog entry.

    The Sentinel is now trying an electronic edition. The link is from the Sentinel home page. The technology is already in use by some other newspapers, of various sizes. Unlike these web pages, the other technology present the actual Sentinel (as it is printed) in two different electronic forms. That service will eventually be charged, but the subscription costs associated with it (per some other newspapers using it) is about what one would expect for an electronic subscription to a paper this size.

    The new technology is NOT “live feed,” although live feeds will still be available on various sites. Also, the numerous frivolous and non-frivolous remarks currently attached to online articles will, I assume, go away.

    The catch, as I see it, is that much of what is “news” are actually a collection of headlines (see the previous blog item about aggregators). That kind of stuff will continue to be available free, as long as even one source puts it online. Besides, most large-scale news is based on reports from a small number of people at a handful of news agencies.

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