December 30, 2006

The Fading Power of the Press

Dean Barnett over at Townhall has taken exception to the attitude the MSM has toward the blog o sphere. Notably the recent editorial of JOSEPH RAGO of the Wall Street Journal and his subsequent comments in an interview with Hugh Hewitt. What he failed to note however is this attitude is not a new and this phenomena predates the blogger.
Many years ago, when I was still employed in the "newspaper bidness", I was invited to attend an off site brain storming session to discuss ways to improve our paper. The director of the classified department suggested that they include an automotive "how to" article on the front page of the weekly auto section.
Our managing editor became visually outraged that the classified department would even suggest adding any sort of editorial content to the paper. The journalistic elitism was palpable as he made clear that no one would broach the barrier between the members of the Fourth Estate and us mere mortals.
Not that the classified director was not capable of pulling some filler piece off of the wire and pasting it on the page, but rather he had violated editorial's role as gatekeeper of the news and the power that the position holds.
It is the uncontrollable loss of power that the new media brings that causes people like Rago to lash out. Coupled with the resulting plunge in circulation and revenues we see an industry in a real quandary.

Newspapers Death Spiral

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