Friday, February 27, 2009

On Another Rough Week

There are a lot of charlatans about in the newspaper business these days. They wrap themselves in corporate-speak buzzwords, and they talk a lot about using Twitter and Facebook to save journalism.

And they're full of shit.

It's the business model that's broken in newspapers. And these people don't have the first clue how to fix it. Neither do I, but I least I have the guts to admit it. And I'm not scared of Facebook or Twitter. I use both. But neither is bringing back lost classified revenue. Neither is going to go back in time and make greedy-ass newspaper companies not take out loans based on 20-percent profit projections in perpetuity.

The bloodletting in Cedar Rapids this week was about money. Period. And anyone who tells other people that it was about something else is lying. There's no grand plan. There's no re-envisioning. They're making it up. It's a cover to allow the suits to hack costs.

And I for one wonder how the people who let themselves be useful idiots to the money folks who actually screwed this whole thing up... Well, I wonder how they sleep at night.

I really do.

Make no mistake, these people didn't kill the newspaper, either. But they are profiting from its demise, rather than trying to save it.

So when they write the obit for newspapers, let it be said in the lede, those who forgot the purpose of newspapers was to use language to illuminate, not obfuscate, dug the grave.


  1. You know you're my hero, Josh, but it's definitely time to say it again. Thank you!

  2. Those people who are useful idiots sleep at night because they have no souls.

  3. Steve Buttry's response actually led me to your blog. Does it make sense to give reporters "extra compensation " based on the amount of advertising they attract to their blogs? Is there a conflict in that?