by Carl, 11/01/2012, 7:01 PM

I’m a pretty harsh critic of The Seattle Times. I think their coverage is more biased for a corporate status quo than they’ll care to admit and their editorials are sloppy and often off the mark. And with the ad for McKenna, they’ve put their partisanship on display.

But I don’t get any joy from their declining circulation numbers. For the best corrective to the Seattle Times’ sloppy efforts is better competition. When I read that they’d fallen off of the top 25 papers in the country, I thought of George Orwell’s lament at the end of World War Two that London only had 12 daily papers.

It is only when there are large numbers of newspapers, expressing all tendencies, that there is some chance of getting at the truth. Counting evenings, London has only twelve daily papers, and they cover the whole of the south of England and penetrate as far north as Glasgow. When they all decide to tell the same lie, there is no minority press to act as a check. In pre-war France the press was largely venal and scurrilous, but you could dig more news out of it than out of the British press, because every political faction had its paper and every viewpoint got a hearing.

Of course people get their news from the Internet now and from TV more than they did back then. But the biggest problem with TV news, with the Seattle Times, and most other daily papers in the region, is that they’re reporting from a similar perspective.

17 Responses to “No Joy in Those Numbers”

1. Roger Rabbit spews:

I wonder what Frank Blethen will do with his $150 million mimeograph machine in Bothell after circulation drops to 10 subscribers (all family members)?

2. Paul spews:

So it goes. In the 20 years pre-internet, with profits rolling in and Wall St. acquisitions gobbling up paper after paper, the industry completely failed to invest in the product and its future. Remember, there was no Craig’s List, so newspapers could charge what they wanted for page after page of classifieds. To them, journalism was merely an excuse to collect enormous paychecks, made especially sweet because all those idealistic journalists would work for chicken scratch doing what they loved. Then, despite the pleas of young newspaper folks like myself, they gave it away on the internet. They made our product free, willingly. Newspaper publishers and their new Wall St. bosses are stupid and shortsighted. The end was all completely predictable, which is why I got out 5 years ago. I don’t know if it makes me sad, so much as it makes me mad.

3. Deathfrogg spews:

It is part and parcel to the fact that people just don’t read anymore and a lot of folks think that reading for pleasure or because somebody finds something interesting is communism. Bookstores, especially the small independent ones that used to be all over Greenwood, Ravenna and the University district are failing left and right.

I had my last apprentice tell me flat out, that “Books are stupid, they don’t do anything.” He was born into a super fundie household, to a pair of parents who forbid him to talk to anyone from outside their church until he was well into his teens. This is a common pattern, especially amongst the Tealiban silvershirt types like Bob and Spuddypud. Their opposition to the Childrens Television Workshop and Sesame Street is naked evidence of that. It really is only a matter of time before they start burning down libraries and bombing schools.

People don’t read because it makes them think too much and requires sitting still and actually paying attention to something for more than a few seconds at a time. If it cannot be spoon fed to them in little sugar-coated 30 second sound bites on some shiny electronic screen, they don’t want anything to do with it. They can just tune out and disregard the little bits of information they don’t like.

This is affecting the newspapers, the small publishers and the little binderies that used to be so common all over the country. Back in the 80s, Kansas, Oklahoma Arkansas, Mississippi and a few other states actually tried to require a special, rather expensive license to even own a printing press while outlawing unlicensed ownership altogether.

These are crazy people. They’re the same folks who were burning down churches in the 1950s and Chinese businesses and neighborhoods back in the 1910s. They’re just close-minded, selfish psychotic little assholes. And they’re very proud of that.

4. Puddybud spews:

Of course the death of newsprint has nothing to do with the libtard slant they present day after day after day?

5. Roger Rabbit spews:

@4 Given that virtually all the newspapers in this country are owned by rich white guys who vote Republican, can you explain to me how it happens that all of our newspapers are editorially
“liberal slanted?”

6. Lauramae spews:

Journalism in general is very different than it was just 20 years ago. If more people are getting their news from TV, for example, they barely get any actual news. KOMO is famous for the long, irritating, back story lead up to the actual news which is a story telling style.

My guess is that unless you are a news junkie, sources of news on the web is limited to sources that reflect one’s perspective (blogs for example).

Many TV and newspapers also have a tendency to simply report what each other has already said without doing any sort of independent verification. The Shirley Sherrod’s story comes to mind of how this happens and what the consequences were for her and the truth.

7. Deathfrogg spews:

# 4 is a case in point. Gibbering and frantically sycophantic toward a candidate that holds high rank in a completely fabricated “religion” that openly espouses the notion that black skinned humans do not even have souls, as a major aspect of its dogma. Theres a reason why they call black folks “obsolete farm machinery” in red states like Utah, Idaho and Mississippi.

Mitt belongs in prison for the crimes he committed over the years, but the White Horse will come to Washington to save the Constitution for the true believers in the faith. There is no crime, when that blond-haired, blue-eyed white skinned Aryan Jesus has your back.

8. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

Along the lines of the stupidity of our discourse, I was watching Frontline tonight – they detailed the organized and well funded pushback against the notion of anthropogenic climate change.

What a fiendish, nefarious plot. Koch funded, slick, well-funded grifters fleecing the rubes – meetings full of obese polyester-clad ‘middle Americans’ with ‘don’t tread on me’ flags screeching about taxes and regulations and lying scientists. Attacks on scientists, hacked emails, harassing FOIA probes, vilification of the ‘egg heads’. There’s a tremendous anti-intellectual vein in this country, and one rarely loses money mining it.

There’s an industry of manufactured ‘facts’ – the ‘truthiness’ of Colbert – the noise on FoxNews – the ‘unskewed’ polls of Rasmussen and other hacks, and legions of political hacks poised to exploit – they interviewed James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, who clearly knew the lies he was peddling, but made a cynical political decision to go with the flow of stupid.

Cynical trolls like our own Cap’n Crunch make similar calculations. The non-stupid on that side, like him, delight in the failure of truth on issues like this – they delight in the defeat of liberals and people who think, if it advances their overall goal – in his case more money for him. They betray the truth for MORE!. This is in contrast to religious nuts like puddl who think there’s going to be an ark or some other ‘miracle’ to save them from the rising waters and armageddon, and care not a whit what we might be doing to God’s creation.

Cap’n Crunch taunts me because I do despair – the profound stupidity, the aggressive affirmative stupidity and the mendacious parasites eager to exploit the stupid – I despair I share a country, a world, with such fools.

9. Roger Rabbit spews:

@8 “I despair I share a country, a world, with such fools.”

Don’t worry, they’ll all be worm food eventually, and there will still be rabbits when they’re long gone.

10. Geoduck spews:

7: “obsolete farm machinery”. Good grief. I have to be brutally reminded at times what a sheltered and privileged life I’ve led.

11. Puddybud spews:

Given that virtually all the newspapers in this country are owned by rich white guys who vote Republican,

Poor Roger SENILE Wabbit… your comment is an EPIC FAYLE…

Well if these are owned by conservatives they love Obummer…

Presenting the:

NY Times… Big Time Libtard Slant – Every day propping up Obummer
Boston Globe… Big Time Libtard Slant – Was there trying to get some slime (not there) on Mitt Romney, will not cover Lieahontas and her practicing law without a MA law license
LA Times… Big Time Libtard Slant – Copy and print everything fed by the NY Times or Boston Globe

EIPC FAYLE… Yeah, Puddy thought so!

12. rhp6033 spews:

I think it’s too early to equate the demise of newspapers to the death of journalism. They aren’t the same thing.

Journalism is a profession, a skill, a passion for finding the “true story” and getting out the whole story to the public.

Newspapers, on the other hand, are a device for selling ad space, which happens to use an abbreviated and controlled form of journalism as a loss-leader to attract what is now known as “eyeballs”. Paid circulation is simply a way of measuring what we now call “eyeballs” for calculation of ad rates, a less than satisfactory method of doing so. The history of journalism in this country, at least, is one of printing sheets of ads with stories from “correspondents” (i.e., letter-writers in various cities) making them worthwhile to keep and read to the 17th and 18th century readership.

But now the medium has changed. It no longer makes sense, on an environmental and cost basis, to have huge printing plants, trucks running nightly to distribution points, and home newspaper delivery every morning, when the same content can be delivered electronically.

This doesn’t mean journalism is dead, only that the delivery method is evolving. Although journalists decry the loss of prestige and salaries from daily papers, what they keep forgetting is that even on the internet, “Content is King”. Sometime within this decade I predict the market on the internet will “settle down” to the point where real journalists will attract enough ad money to pay for “eyeballs”, and the new face of journalism will emerge.

From some perspectives, this will be good. Gone will be the heavy hand of publishers who squash stories which don’t fit within the corporate “theme”. Gone also will be editors who condense stories to fit the available space, so much so that much of the content is lost.

13. Puddybud spews:

Poor deadtoad,

Reduced to that attack above. Sad sack of a man these days.

14. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

@13
No, deathfrogg is correct – you are a gibbering idiot.

Don’t you have an ark to build, Faux?

15. doggril spews:

@5 – When I read your question, my immediate response was that people like puddy can’t answer it. People like puddy aren’t thinkers. They’re mimickers. Puddy reads his Winger sites that holler about “liberal slant” and then starts hollering himself about “liberal slant”. They can’t defend why they think that way–because their hollering isn’t connected to actual thinking. They didn’t arrive at that conclusion on their own.
That was my immediate thought. And then I read puddy’s response to your question. And his bizarre attempt at individual thought–that all those conservative newspaper owners love Obama–was so absurd it just demonstrates my point that people like puddy don’t really know how to think for themselves.

16. rhp6033 spews:

# 15: I think you have a point. It’s like when my wife says “kitty cat!”, and my dog jumps up to the window, looks, out, and barks at the supposed cat, when there is none. These wingnuts like Puddy just bark out there themes as soon as they see a specific subject posted, without rational thought intervening.

17. Puddybud spews:

Bray all you want leftist morons. Facts are facts… UCLA already produced the facts on the media a couple of years ago! Y’all missed the link? Contact ylbuttspigot… ylbuttspigot has catalogued all of us who think right. He has nothing else to do sitting at home all day with no yob!

85% or more of newspaper reporters and on-air news peeps admit they vote leftist every four years. Been that way since the 60s. Another fact you can’t deny. Also you all attack Puddy because Puddy delivers facts from neutral sites.

So have at it deadtoad, dunceman, and rhpee6033. Roger SENILE Wabbit had no retort.

Puddy should have added the Washington Post to that mix. They have been hiding Benghazi facts for the last seven weeks too.

Sucks to be y’all. Puddy holds his head up high, just not snooty high like leftists here.