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Jeff Bezos, The Washington Post, And The Future Of Newspapers

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos buys The Washington Post. We look at the future of newspapers as they merge with the digital world.

In this Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, photo, The Washington Post for Kindle application is displayed for purchase on an Amazon Kindle in New York. (AP)

In this Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, photo, The Washington Post for Kindle application is displayed for purchase on an Amazon Kindle in New York. (AP)

It was a bolt from the blue this month when Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said he would buy the Washington Post.  A premier, flagship, storied news franchise, snapped up by a dot-com mogul who made his billions crushing book stores and selling everything online.

Newspapers have been up against it for years now.  Struggling to find their way to revenues in the digital era.  Now, a digital mogul has come to newspapers.  As owner.  Boss.

This hour, On Point:  Jeff Bezos and the future of newspapers as they merge with the digital world.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

John Harris, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Politico.

Chris Hughes, purchased The New Republic in 2012, now publisher and editor-in-chief. Co-founder and former spokesman for Facebook. (@chrishughes)

Bill Keller, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, and former executive editor of The New York Times from 2003-2011. (@nytkeller)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Los Angeles Times: Is Jeff Bezos journalism’s savior or just another bean counter? – ”Many have wondered if journalism as we have known it has any future. Metro newspapers have faced a calamitous drop in revenue in the last decade as advertisers have rushed to the Internet like passengers mobbing lifeboats on the Titanic. Ironically, in an age when the public is gorging on information like never before, the most respected purveyors of reliable information — newspapers — have become endangered enterprises.”

The New York Times: Expecting the Unexpected From Jeff Bezos – ”No one, apparently including Mr. Bezos himself, seems to know what he intends to do with that fabled newspaper. This is, after all, a man who once said the quality he most wanted in a wife was the ability to spring him from a third-world prison. He can probably be counted on to think unpredictably.”

Variety: Future of Print Journalism? Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post Purchase Spurs Questions – ”Yet the lingering fear is that while journalists dream of finding a Bruce Wayne — or in the case of the Los Angeles Times, an Eli Broad or David Geffen — they might wind up under the thumb of a Lex Luthor or some Bondian villain, eager to use these shiny new toys to pursue nefarious goals and world domination.”

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  • RolloMartins

    If you were in a business class and (assuming newspapers did not yet exist) came up with the idea to print news onto paper and truck it out to people’s homes in the middle of the night, well, my guess is you’d get an “F.”

  • John Cedar

    One should assume that the reason most newspapers don’t earn their share of profits is because they are run by dummies…as evidenced by their left slant on the news. Fox news earns gobs of money and PMSNBC does not.

    • nj_v2

      Startin’ off the day with a big, heaping helping of stoopid.

      • Leonard Bast

        A big, heaping helping of stoopid with whipped cream and a cherry on top!

    • alsordi

      Left-Right….who’s on first.
      Its all diversional kabookee theatre, while the banksters and warprofiteers have their way.

      • nj_v2

        Chowderheads like Mr Cedar would seem to prefer robotic partisanism based on bogus generalizations to actually understanding the true nature of political power and influence.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      You really should get out more if you think the WaPo is “left slanted”.

      The weird thing is, people who still buy print newspapers do sorta line up like Fox news viewers demographically. But everybody in the mainstream press recognizes that as a bad thing for print newspapers, while nobody can bring themselves to say that’s a bad thing for Fox news.

      “The median age of a Fox News viewer is dead”, goes the axiom. The next couple of decades will be fun to watch there, as Sarah Palin starts showing her age, and the right’s demographic death spiral continues.

      • John Cedar

        If by “weird thing” you mean that its idiotic that the publishers do not recognize who their audience and potential audience is and respond so accordingly, then I agree, its a “weird thing”.

        One thing young people and old people have in common is that we keep making more of both.
        But, things are not as dire as you imply:
        http://www.people-press.org/2012/09/27/section-4-demographics-and-political-views-of-news-audiences/

        When I say the Washington Post is left slanted, it might not look that way from your vantage point due to the red shift phenomena, where you are traveling to the left at the speed of light squared.

        …similar to the fact that there are no Conservative SCOTUS justices as there is virtually no conservative J.D.’s pool to select one from when appointing one.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “WaPo is left-slanted”

          Too stupid a comment merit point-by-point response.

          “no Conservative SCOTUS justices”

          If you mean Scalia (therefore Thomas) etc aren’t conservative, that’s a fight between you and all the CPAC-feted Republicans. You should have said something when all you TruePrincipledConservatives had the chance. And while you’re at it, get all your TPC Senators to give up or down votes rather than place a record number of anonymous holds and filibusters on appointments.

        • J__o__h__n

          The majority of the Court is conservative. Kennedy occasionally votes with the moderates. Bush packed the lower courts. The Federalist Society has been increasing the number of conservative JDs in the public sector.

          • HonestDebate1

            Do you consider Ginsberg and Breyer to be moderates?

        • nj_v2

          As ignorant about science as politics.

          Red shift happens when traveling away from the vantage point. Movement left or right is kind of meaningless, except in an inappropriate-analogy kind of way.

          And if one were moving left, at least how the em spectrum is typically illustrated, that’s a movement toward shorter (blue) wavelengths, not red.

          But thanks for playing.

          • John Cedar

            Whither the humorless pedant on traveling at the speed of light squared?

            Descartes goes into a bar. The bartender says, “Would you like a drink?” Descartes replies, “I think not”. *POOF*, he disappears.

            nj-v2, ” pfft…why that is impossible! Descartes, a known drinker, would never turn down an alcoholic beverage. The logical converse is a logical fallacy! Only the logical contrapositive is known to be true!”

    • OnPointComments

      From an 8/21/2013 Variety report:
      http://variety.com/2013/tv/news/msnbc-continues-ratings-slide-as-cnn-surges-over-summer-1200585373/

      “Fox News remains the leader, as it has for years, though it and MSNBC were down vs. last summer.”

      “In preliminary Nielsen data for the summer through Sunday, Fox News was averaging 1.85 million viewers in primetime (down 5% from comparable dates a year ago), followed among the news networks by MSNBC (540,000, down 22%), CNN (533,000, up 21%) and HLN (422,000, up 29%).

      “Among all cable networks in primetime this summer, Fox News ranks seventh in total viewers (USA and TNT top the list). MSNBC is 33rd, CNN is 34th and HLN is running 39th.”

      So it looks like Fox News still has about 24% more viewers than MSNBC, CNN, and HLN combined.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    How about the NYTimes selling to John Henry simply because they liked his politics? Since there were higher bidders will a shareholder lawsuit be forthcoming?

    • alsordi

      Dear Worried for the Country,

      Why are you so surprised that the NYTimes has passed up those higher bidders that may have added substance and objectivity to a news outlet? The elites do get their info from main-stream newspapers.

      John Henry is their perfect choice. One only has to roughly examine the incomes and acumens of those bedecked in Red Sox, hats, shirts, jackets…. and yes….Red Sox tattoos.

      If there was ever a correlation between dumbed-down and sports affliation, it can be found in Boston.

      No surprise that the Wall Street chose John Henry.

  • Yar

    I am not the typical media consumer, I read parts of 3 papers most days, I don’t have cable and NPR is on most of the time. I seldom watch television. I check several news aggregation sites.throughout the day.

    I want a digital print version like NPR’s affiliate model. Buying three physical papers is impractical and highly redundant. I want a granular level of local news, only available through my local paper. I don’t want my local paper’s version of regional or national news. The NPR model where the affiliate has local control but must meet National standards is what I would like to see for print media. If Mr Bezos can pull that off I will be an early adopter. I like reading on the paperwhite, although the navigation functions need work to make consumption of news easier. I haven’t subscribed to any periodicals on it yet.
    I would have included this in the suggested readings.

    AMAZON FOUNDER SAYS HE CLICKED ON WASHINGTON POST BY MISTAKE

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/08/amazon-founder-says-he-clicked-on-washington-post-by-mistake.html

  • nj_v2

    I’m wondering how long it will take for language to catch up to technology change in this case.

    When “newspapers” are no longer printed on paper, will there be a new word for them (the way horseless carriage changed to automobile and refrigerator replaced ice box) or, will the outdated word still be used because there isn’t an appropriate replacement (dialing a number on a phone with buttons).

    • DeJay79

      newsapp maybe or newspage.

  • alsordi

    The mainstream media has no credibility outside of tropical storms and hurricanes… and those are usually hyped to benefit Loews and Home Depot.

    With the advent of the middle east war campaigns, and Wall Street bail outs, much of the true liberal base (ala Vietnam) has shrunken back like violets at dusk due to their internal conflicts regarding their ties to Israel, Finance and Banking (as can be commonly seen the onpoint forum).

    Leaving the mass media in virtual lockstep with government policies and eachother, except for the charade of disagreement on gay marriage and the environment.

    If the government manages to control alternative online news sources (which they are desperately trying to do), we will all have arrived at a society best described by George Orwell.

    • alsordi

      Clarification: When I refer to “government”, I mean those powerful interests (Wall Street) and lobbies (AIPAC, Defense contractors) that control the government, as opposed to “government of the people”.

    • J__o__h__n

      What kind of media critic are you? You passed up the chance to blame the media for linking tropical storms and hurricanes to global warming and not their true source, god’s displeasure with gay marriage and abortion.

      • alsordi

        The media does neither to blame God nor global warming.

        The media just hypes the storms on behalf of their advertisers, but more importantly to legitimize the need for FEMA and Homeland Security.

  • thequietkid10

    Newspapers are relic of a previous age they face two basic problems in my opinion.

    1. They can only provide a limited amount of commentary, whereas modern media is capable of providing many difference perspectives.

    2. Local politics is often, but not always, either too inconsequential or too entrenched for people to care. In Buffalo, the thruway authority and the water authority especially have justifiably pummeled forever, and nothing ever changes.

  • J__o__h__n

    Paywalls aren’t a solution. Newspapers didn’t make their profits from delivery or the news stand. I pay for my own distribution (internet) and medium (computer) which has replaced their paper printing and distribution. They need to find a way to make their advertising profitable.

    • Jeff

      I agree, pay walls are troublesome for newspapers I know I stopped reading the The New York Times when that pay wall went up. I’m just not sure how the big newspapers aren’t making as much or almost as much with online advertising…their websites are cluttered with ads…then they want to charge me to read the articles as well? Another problem is that I don’t necessarily want to support a newspaper I generally disagree with, sure I might enjoy one news story or one opinion article (i.e. David Brooks @ NY Times) but the rest of the articles are garbage…I’m not going to pay money for 99% garbage and 1% good information.

      I have found a way around some of the primitive pay walls where they let you read only a few stories a month for free then they want to charge you…just clear your cookies (under your website history)…and you get another month’s worth of stories. I use that method with my local paper (Star Tribune), it’s one of two local papers and even their online moderators are liberal to the core…I’ll see comment after comment bashing the GOP or Republicans and I simply respond with logical points and I’ll have the vast majority of my comments blocked. I’m sorry but I’m not paying for that sort of “service”.

      BTW, I know what you’re thinking maybe lots of liberal comments are blocked too…I’m a libertarian and I have a liberal opinion on some issues…I’ve never once had a more liberal comment blocked on that website.

      • OnPointComments

        To get around pay walls you can also use “InPrivate Browsing” (from the Internet Explorer menu bar, select ‘Tools’ then ‘InPrivate Browsing’) if you don’t want to clear all of your cookies. InPrivate Browsing doesn’t load the newspaper site’s cookies, so the newspaper doesn’t know how many times you’ve viewed the newspaper.

        The description from Microsoft: “InPrivate Browsing helps prevent your browsing history, temporary Internet files, form data, cookies, and user names and passwords from being retained by the browser. You can start InPrivate Browsing from the Safety menu, by pressing Ctrl+Shift+P, or from the New Tab page. Internet Explorer will launch a new browser session that won’t keep any information about webpages you visit or searches you perform. Closing the browser window will end your InPrivate Browsing session.”

        • sickofthechit

          We get what we pay for. If everyone reads for free how do you expect them to continue to exist? charles a. bowsher

    • sickofthechit

      We get what we pay for which pretty soon will be nothing, or worthless. If everyone reads for free how do you expect them to continue to exist? charles a. bowsher

  • TomK_in_Boston

    WaPo has gone from a great institution to a corporate/gvt mouthpiece. Their hype of corporate education on behalf of their Kaplan property is disgusting. During Watergate, today’s WaPo would be parroting Nixon’s spin. Bezos is their only hope. And if anyone can solve the internet problem, he can. It’s a great development.

    • Coastghost

      Yes, we can all rest soundly knowing to a certainty that the new WaPo will do nothing to support Bezos & Co.’s corporate ambitions. Just as we can anticipate the new WaPo will run pages and pages of ads on behalf of struggling independent bookstores.

  • Coastghost

    THE questions avid NPR auditors want answered:
    –how will the heretofore close relationship between NPR and WaPo proceed?
    –will NPR squeeze Bezos for corporate sponsorships?
    –will WaPo reporters, columnists, and editors jump ship? (Maybe they’ll take paycuts just to work for NPR directly . . . BTW: what does NPR’s health insurance plan look like: generous Federal subsidies, et cetera? Some things NPR NEVER tells us . . . ,)

    • sickofthechit

      I thought NPR Only got like 10% of its funding from the government. 10% of your income will certainly not pay for lavish health insurance benefits. To see what lavish health care benefits look like I suggest you look at what CONgress gets since theirs really are the best in the world! As Mitch (who we have got to Ditch) Mcconnell likes to say. charles a. bowsher

      • HonestDebate1

        How about the taxpayers fund 1 tenth of 1% of Rush’s enterprise? It’s just a pittance.

  • HonestDebate1

    It doesn’t matter how much of a marketing visionary genius Bezos is, he’s a hard left liberal. So, maybe I’ll be surprised and he’ll be smart enough to put his ideology on the back burner and actually report the unvarnished truth but I have my doubts.

    • Ray in VT

      People who know him describe him as a libertarian. What makes him a hard left liberal? Also, I doubt what you consider to be the “unvarnished truth” bears much of a resemblance to what many others would consider the same to be.

      • HonestDebate1

        The truth has no agenda. People who donate big time to Obama like Bezos do. But again, just because he is a lefty does not mean he won’t do a better job. I could be wrong.

        • Ray in VT

          Care to detail how Jeff Bezos has donated “big time” to Obama?

    • brettearle

      HD–

      Every single day, a newspaper like the New York Times, reveals stories and reports that depict problems with the President’s policies and decisions.

      I don’t read the Post–but I suspect it’s not a whole heck of a lot different, in that regard.

      If you wish to apply your comments to the Times, as well, then you truly do not know what you are talking about.

      I am tired of listening to hard core Right-Wingers wax on about Media Venues that they perceive as Liberal–when they are unwilling to dissolve their misguided, preconceived notions and check the sources out for themselves.

      It is these unvarnished biases, in comments like yours, that help to put our public dialogue into the mess that it is in.

      • HonestDebate1

        Sorry the NYT has zero credibility with me. I have a higher bar than the bare minimum. Criticizing failed policies is the bare minimum. They have a long history of editorializing the news. And even in the op-ed sections there is no balance since Safire retired. But just as important as what they write about is what they omit.

        I think their bias is quite clear but don’t take my word for it, listen to the editor:

        http://townhall.com/video/new-york-times-editor-admits-to-papers-liberal-bias-n1667979

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Nonsense, he’s a classic tech libertarian. I guess that’s hard left from the Stalinist perspective, but not in my world.

      • nj_v2

        To DisHonestMisDebatorGreggg, anyone less conservatively regressive than Limpballs, Palin, Beck, Allen West, etc. is “hard left liberal.”

        • HonestDebate1

          But you’ve said Obama is not a liberal. It only makes sense that you would think his biggest supporter and major donor Bezos isn’t one either.

    • StilllHere

      The NYT can’t do it.

  • Yar

    Technology is not limited to current digital media. News papers and the printing press was a revolution in tech. Guttenberg was the first tech revolutionary.

  • Coastghost

    “Journalism is important”: the sentimental civic import being inextricably tangled with the profit motive that these elite tech philanthropists want to exercise.

    • Jeff

      You talk as though that hasn’t been the case in the past…the big tech gurus of the past were the newspaper men! Think about all the crazy opinions and different newspapers that were available back during the American Revolution…people like Ben Franklin were at the leading edge of technology (printing) and many were in it for a profit. I see no problem with the digital leaders moving into the media outlets, especially if they can turn them around into making a profit.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Exactly.
        WaPo has been the Kaplan Post for some time. Ooooh, they love standardized tests and corporate education!

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Michelle Rhee is the most trustworthy person to ride into town and ask for money to help kids since Professor Harold Hill.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            LOL
            It’s not privatizing, corporate, for profit education, it’s “reform”…sorta like righty “entitlement reform”

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            And, to close the circle, Rhee was recently the subject of a puppy-slobber level cover piece in Sunday Magazine at TehLiberalNewYorkTImes.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Yeah, that liberal icon of journalism that was the #1 microphone for the WMD lies.

            In Boston we had a recent flap where “Stand for Children”, a corporate ed front group, announced they were supporting John Connolly for mayor. There was such a backlash he had to tell them to back off. Love my town.

  • DeJay79

    The future seams clear to me, paper is dead and digital is in. The big question I have is how will the pay structure work, free works the best on the internet, but free does not work for reporters.

    If someone can create an app that can efficiently collect Local stories from “reporters” and then when the local story gets enough interest it would jump to a regional level and then again to State or national level. I think that would be popular.

    The down side to that is that the populous would actually drive news content and that starts a whole new discussion.

    • sickofthechit

      Paper is not dead, it just needs to re-establish itself as the place to get the facts. You and I have no way of knowing whether the story we both “read” on line is the same, or whether some clever hacker changed a few words, or a few phrasing so now we are actually not on the “same page” (as it were) in any further discussions. Paranoid perspective?, you betcha! charles a. bowsher

      • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ Melissa A. Cayer

        When I get paranoid, I tell myself that I am just making up scenarios or I just acknowledge the
        possiblity and chalk it up to a learning experience. How do you deal with paranoia?

  • Mari McAvenia

    You can’t clip and save a kindle pop-up. The depersonalization and intellectual centralization of American society continues at breakneck speed.
    I have my doubts about “newspapers” retaining credibility as they merge with the glitzy, distracted, single-serving medium of e-news.
    Pull the plug, now please, and let’s get on with the business of sharing information which truly informs the public rather than transfixing us with more irrelevant, blinking, disjointed images and desperate attempts at electronic monetization.

    • brettearle

      Well-said

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      There’s an app for that.

  • Yar

    I sense a hypocritical thread that is unstated in this conversation among the show’s guests. Newspapers always have had a profit motive on the bottom line. They have always had a political agenda. What has changed?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Pretending to not have a political agenda is a change from the days Pulitzer, Hearst, and Greeley, for one thing.

      Back in the old days before the Widjit collapsed, the idea that a newspaper was non-partisan was folly*.

      However, now every paper needs to carry the pretense of non-partisanship, but the bigger the newspaper, the more limited the Rolodex. The same people and sources keep getting quoted. The WaPo editorial pages is a great example of how this has gone off the rails, all the while pretending they’re above-board.

      *The St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Rockford (Ill) Independent, and Springfield Daily Republican names all harken back to this.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I hope Bezos sets an exemplar for how news can be profitable without “selling out” to corporate advertisers, or campaigns, for that matter.
    Is that “news” rather than “newspapers”? I think both. Sources that get a gazillion hits will show the panda pictures. But look at Amazon. I can find 800 reviews, sorted and organized, on certain books. Ditto for electronics I want to buy. Not just the opinion of a paid and trained reviewer. I can get a MUCH better idea of what available.
    Anyway, marketing may be more on line, and less malls and city centers. “Local” may mean something very different. Better, hopefully.

  • Coastghost

    Wonder whether Chris Hughes and/or Jeff Bezos ever came across this quote from Lichtenberg (Hollingdale tr.): “There can hardly be stranger wares in the world than books: printed by people who do not understand them; sold by people who do not understand them; bound, reviewed, and read by people who do not understand them; and now even written by people who do not understand them.”
    How can understanding be monetized? I wonder. Bezos & Co. surely will tell us.

  • Ellen Dibble

    My wishlist for news goes like this: I want to be able to flip from the Washington Post to the New York Times to the LA Times, to the Boston Globe, to the local gazette, al-Jazeera, to the Atlantic, the New Yorker — all that. Some I’ll want on hand. The rest, like cable subscriptions, I want to select say 50 and pay for them in a bunch, per maybe 6 months.

    • J__o__h__n

      Will you be forced to pay $5 a month for ESPN?

      • Ellen Dibble

        I pay $8 a month for two PBS stations, CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, a Boston station, and a local station. That’s pretty good. I would shell out a lot more for what the internet can come up with, however.

    • HonestDebate1

      If your wish were to come true, my wish would be that they rarely conflicted on the facts of the news reporting and all of them disagreed on the clearly labeled opinions.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    No mention of the WSJ? Profitable and now the preeminent national daily newspaper.

    • Ray in VT

      It Journal is a fine newspaper, and their reporters do some very good work, but I don’t know if one can call it “the preeminent national daily newspaper.” It has the largest daily circulation, but do numbers constitute preeminence? I generally dislike that argument. Are Daft Punk or Robin Thicke the preeminent musicians of our time? They’re certainly topping the charts these days.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Sure it is subjective but the NYTimes used to hold the mantle as the nation’s daily. No more. My comment was more of a reaction to ZERO mention by the panel. Of course, the panel is loaded with leftists and progressives who masquerade as journOlists so I guess they can’t help themselves.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “Leftists and progressives”?

          Politico? The NYT during the time it did what with who?

          And please take a time machine back to when that lame-ass notscandal you’re hawking mattered to anyone with a real reputation.

  • Mari McAvenia

    What I really want to know is who is paying the professional, serious journalists a living wage?
    A news source is only as good as the people who are reporting, writing and editing the content. Low pay means poor quality. I’ve seen this trend with my own eyes. Will money-bags Bezos pay WaPo journalists better than the Grahams? I think not.

  • Coastghost

    “Who is provocative?” trumps “who’s telling the truth”? Revealing.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Local newspapers won’t need to excerpt from the news services from all over the world and aggregate so much. Right now I read only one of their comic strips. In future, I could do some selecting, I suppose. The local paper will more and more zero in on the strictly local, and simply link out to the providers they’d otherwise glean from. They could do a whole lot more linking. They could do a lot more on local people and issues, focus in.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    “Provocative coverage” and “accurate” are not the same thing, Politico.

    Liberals sneer at “Win The Morning” and “Drudgico” for a reason.

    And any attempt by the WaPo to follow Politico further rightward and inbred is really not going to help the WaPo.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Are these folks intentionally in a leftist, elitist bubble?

    They go to HuffPo as THE aggregator instead of Drudge.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      You really should stop trying to move the goalposts.

      Drudge is a hack. Not everybody in the awfully self-involved circle of guests today, even the one from Politico, is trying to be Fox news.

      (Edited for clarity.)

      • HonestDebate1

        Which sources do you trust?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Drudge isn’t a sourcr.

          That would take actual reportage. Drudge is a fluffer. Anyone who reads him without enough salt to bring on hypertension is too ignorant for me to waste my time with.

          • HonestDebate1

            Drudge does not write anything.

    • J__o__h__n

      I go to Drudge not HuffPo.

      • HonestDebate1

        I go to both.

  • Davesix6

    Please, to Judy in Brooklyn, the NY Times is already a left wing “progressive”, politically activist newspaper, at best Bloomberg would perhaps just redefine their focus!

    • StilllHere

      Bloomberg’s political tinge is already making his own media outlet unreadable. The NYT is a joke.

  • AC

    i’m worried about journalism’s integrity. all these blogs lately feel heavy with opinion and emotion. just the facts please, i’ll absolutely pay for good journalism

    • skelly74

      How would anyone define good journalism? Would it be reasonable to say that one defines good journalism – being in line with your opinions and emotions?

      • AC

        no!!!
        just give me the real time facts, i don’t want anything but straight information, no skewing of reality –
        look up epistemology….i want the news i get to be from someone who respects the ‘idea’ of it..

        • skelly74

          I like the theory that somewhere between truth and belief you find knowledge. If your beliefs / feelings / emotions – do not coincide with the reported facts at all, you will have problems with perceived knowledge.

        • nj_v2

          No such thing, really, as purely “just the facts.”

          Reported “facts,” may, in fact, be true/corroborated/verifiable, but information out of context, or selectively chosen, or without countervailing information results in distorted, or at least incomplete understanding.

          I’d rather know what the reporting entities’ bias/background/viewpoint/philosophy is than to pretend there’s such a thing as some kind of “pure” objectivity.

          • AC

            i try really hard to be, surely there are people who take this part of the job seriously? i suppose it can’t be helped, but i still would rather they at least try…

          • alsordi

            AC you are really naive.

            You act as if the journalist is really in charge.

            The main-stream news is controlled and homogenized. Journalist in the US are told what and how to write.

        • skelly74

          Again I ask: how do you judge that the journalist is upholding your requirement of only “fact” reporting? What if you totally disagree with the reported facts? Are the the facts now embellished options?

          • jimino

            I don’t understand what you’re saying. Perhaps you can help clarify. For example, here is a fact:

            “In the United States, the share of total annual income received by the top 1 percent has more than doubled from 9 percent in 1976 to 20 percent in 2011.”

            Do you agree, and if you don’t, does that change it from being a fact to something else?

          • HonestDebate1

            The words used to describe the facts can cloud them with implications. For instance, income is earned not received. I get your point but it’s still tricky.

          • skelly74

            I would take your example as believable based on the timeless cliche: the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. Although I am believing the data given to me without verifying it myself. The question is: will I believe this data as an absolute truth and therefore become credible percieved knowledge? Will I be sceptical? to what degree will I be sceptical?
            My argument is that where the sphere of truth / facts overlaps my sphere of beliefs, I find my percieved knowledge. Can we think of any large population where their percieved knowledge seems totally outrageous to us? North Korea?
            If journalist are reporting news to you as facts / truths, are you inclined to accept as knowledge the facts that are in line with your beliefs?
            Is Dan Rather a credible journalist? If you think he is then he strokes your belief system. Do you stop consuming his fact reporting in light of the Killian papers incident in 2004?
            I consume the news with a grain of salt and keep in mind that I too have beliefs and biases; sometimes the reported facts are too good to be true.

      • AC

        i was wondering what the ethical motto of journalists was and i found this – fabulous! i will read news from someone this society acknowledges!!
        http://www.spj.org/spjbylaws.asp

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    If Rupert Murdoch tried to use the WSJ to advance his ideas on regulations.

    That “if” is in the rear-view mirror. The Op-ed is for crap, and what used to be a fine separation between news-hole and editorial opinion is eroding.

    Liberals look at Murdoch and cringe.

    Conservatives look at Sulzberger politics and aren’t so happy

    Tom, the right get David Brooks, Ross Douthat, Maureen Dowd, and to simultaneously bitch about the reputation of the NYT as “liberal”. You should know better than this by now.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      the “liberal media” is an urban legend. We have the corporate/gvt media. Look at how they have treated Snowden and Greenwald! Don’t they love NSA? Remember NYT #1 cheerleader for iraq war? Didn’t they all agree the deficit was a huge problem? Don’t they all agree “entitlement reform” is essential? How about crazy wingnut Ruben at the Kaplan Post (aka WaPo)?? Give me a break. There is no mainstream liberal media.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Who was in charge at the Times then? I keep forgetting…

      • Coastghost

        Since NPR trusts the Pew polls implicitly, so should you: consult, then, the 2004 “People and the Press” poll results that showed professional journalists self-identifying as “progressive/liberal” far in excess of what was tabulated among self-identifying US citizens.
        The need for “progressive” credentials in the journalism rackets is a lamentable occupational hazard.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Yeah, funny how in your worldeditors’ and publishers’ opinionations don’t matter.

          Because every ink-strained wretch (even if they’re only on TV or internets) is their own brand, and there’s never a voice from above at any meeting telling them “I know what’s good for this newsroom and you know what’s good for your continued employment.”

          Plus conservatives really seem to have lost whatever taste they had to being actual damned journos sometime when the whole media hunted President Clinton.

          • Coastghost

            I’m sure no few newspaper editors rose through the ranks of rank journalism to get to their coveted chairs. As I’m equally certain that the editors and publishers you allude to hire the many journalists that self-identified in the Pew poll as “progressive/liberal”.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            You’re a cake I can’t fix with frosting.

            Editors and publishers have to answer to owners and advertisers. Journalists don’t get together and vote for who will be their boss.

          • Coastghost

            Ahhh, but did you see where we agreed earlier on the distinction between provocative journalism and truthful or accurate journalism? –so there’s hope for at least one of us.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          That has nothing to do with the examples I listed, and there are many more. Actions are more important than talk or polls.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Please stop calling people who do not risk their lives ‘Heroes’.
    You are degrading the meaning for those selfless souls who have actually save someone else’s life by putting their own at risk.
    Come up with a better word like visionary or agent of change…

  • http://www.CayerComputing.com/ Melissa A. Cayer

    Right now, I feel betrayed by my hardware manufacturer of choice. They have subtly changed my hardware to turn me into a consumer of content not a producer of content.

  • sickofthechit

    This is the letter I sent to my local paper yesterday

    Dear Editor,
    I can no longer afford to subscribe to your wonderful
    paper. I still miss the days of a morning and afternoon edition. I used to subscribe to the paper to read the various classified ads. There is a paucity of them now and I can’t help but wonder if maybe you priced yourself out of that market? Obituaries are way to expensive as well.

    My vision to revive your and other papers around the country involves citizenship, communication and our collective futures. What if the government or someone sponsored a Civics page each day in the paper? It would contain info on local government meetings, background on what was at issue in the meetings that day, etc. A real live, who, what, when, where, why so all are given a better chance to know what is going on
    locally. I avoid the internet as a news source because I don’t believe we all are necessarily reading the same thing. The only way to be sure we are all reading the same story or info is to use an “in our hands” paper such as yours/ours.

    Why can’t we go back to a late afternoon edition distributed by paper boys/girls each afternoon after school? It wouldn’t need to be a large edition, just relevant and timely. There is no better reading experience to me than folding back a section of the paper and digging into several columns of stories or
    letters to the editor….

    Sincerely,
    Charles A. Bowsher,

    P.S.(Keep Up The Great Work!)cab
    P.S.S.(P.S.’s shouldn’t count!)cab

    • Leonard Bast

      If we both subscribe to the paper edition of the New York Times, what guarantees that we’re reading the same articles? And why should we be? As for paper boys and paper girls delivering the evening paper to our doorsteps, it sounds very nice and very nostalgic. Maybe Ward and June Cleaver will drop in and we can all discuss the articles we just read over a cup of the little woman’s percolated coffee.

  • MKGS

    Guess there were no seasoned women journalists available this morning to talk about the future of print journalism who are more experienced than owner “and editor-in-chief” Chris Hughes. Possibly they were all busy looking for work?

    • Coastghost

      Blame Sheryl Sandberg: the women were likely all out having some portion of “It All” that deflected their multi-tasked attentions in the 10-11 am ET hour.

    • Mari McAvenia

      Precisely. Or, toiling away at penny-ante sites like Examiner.com. Haven’t you heard, women don’t write in the digitized era. They simply blog their pearls before swine. ( I say this with wry resignation as a former “lady reporter”.)

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Actual liberal media would tell us that “entitlement reform” is class warfare, that SS is the soundest program on the planet, that the deficit is no big deal, that Unions were key in building the middle class, that Snowden did a good thing, that Greenwald is a great journalist, that tax cuts drive inequality, that our health care system is by far the most expensive in the world because it’s so privatized, etc etc. Do I hear that? No no no almost never. So, we don’t have liberal media, QED.

    I’m glad Bezos is buying the Kaplan Post. This version would have been on the side of Nixon and the plumbers. I hope he fires the Pravda types who think anything goes once you say “national security”.

  • StilllHere

    It’s not the job of the media to tell us anything.
    People who want the media to tell them how to think are too ignorant for their own good and too dangerous for the rest of us.

  • Mari McAvenia

    As I have pondered the complexities of newspapers going digital- over the period of a few decades – a new word keeps coming to mind. Metaphemeral. Don’t bother to look it up. I just coined the term.
    As ephemeral as the daily news sheet has been, throughout history, the new kindlized frontier looks positively bountiful with new words to define it. Feel free to make up your very own.

  • ExcellentNews

    Hopefully, Bezos can make it work – after all, there are how many hundreds of Kindles out there. There is more than money at stake.

    A democracy cannot function without journalism. How would people find out what’s going on? Do you have the time to investigate on your own how a local official is using public funds? To discover that your CEO is getting a 75 million dollar bonus for moving the business where you work abroad?

    Whether the news get delivered on paper, or on a proprietary platform, does not matter as long as it gets professionally researched and presented.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 24, 2014
Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, left, talks with Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Covina at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Hernandez proposed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to again allow public colleges to use race and ethnicity when considering college applicants. The proposal stalled this year after backlash from Asian Americans. (AP)

California as Exhibit A for what happens when a state bans affirmative action in college admissions. We’ll look at race, college and California.

Apr 24, 2014
A Buddhist monk lights the funeral pyre of Nepalese mountaineer Ang Kaji Sherpa, killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest, during his funeral ceremony in Katmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 21, 2014.  (AP)

A Sherpa boycott on Everest after a deadly avalanche. We’ll look at climbing, culture, life, death and money at the top of the world.

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Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

 
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

On Point Blog
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Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
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