UPDATE: NY Times, in Wednesday report on Village Voice changes, has VV editor Tony Ortega blaming the economy for the firing of Wayne Barrett:
“By now I think we expected the economy to be doing a little better. So I’m a little disappointed we haven’t grown. But we’re holding our own.”
• • •
From NY Times: Wayne Barrett and Tom Robbins, two muckraking fixtures of the New York City press corps, are leaving The Village Voice. Mr. Barrett was let go; Mr. Robbins quit in protest.
In his last VV column, posted today, Barrett says: “I have written, by my own inexact calculation, more column inches than anyone in the history of the Voice. These will be my last. I am 65 and a half now, and it is time for something new. If I didn’t see that, others did.”
On Nov. 22, 1963 — 47 years ago today — I was a carrier boy for the NY World-Telegram & Sun, an afternoon newspaper. We knew that President Kennedy had died, and a pall enveloped the storefront shack where we rolled our papers — no bands, no bags — in preparation of stoop shoots from our bikes (we almost always hit our marks — definitely a lost art).
The Telegram bore the headlined “Kennedy Cheered Through Dallas” and featured a picture of a beaming JFK and Jackie at the Texas airport that morning.
Those upbeat papers are collector’s items today, but my customers would expect later news. So along with scores of others, I waited patiently at one of my neighborhood’s big newsstands for the arrival of the final edition around 5 o’clock — its headline filled the top half of the broadsheet front page:
I shelled out cash for a stack of Finals and brought them to my preferred customers. Then I returned to a few prospects. If they’d subscribe that day, I offered, I’d give them a copy of the paper that everyone wanted.
People were desperate not just for the latest news — TV was covering the story ’round-the-clock — but for their newspaper, a friend they could touch, hold, embrace.
Running a front page ad or promotion is one thing (done right, it can be useful to readers and profitable to publishers). But for publishers to deliberately mislead their readers is something else.
Today’s AMNewYork, the free daily published by Newsday, does just that.
Here’s my say:
Whatever your position on the lower Manhattan Islamic center, consider two facts:
1. It’s not exactly a “mosque,” in the classical sense, and
2. It’s not at Ground Zero.
Even knowing this, media can’t shake its original terminology. Kelly McBride on Poynter tells why SEO and Google make reality a hard find online.
I don’t have it in me as the sun sets this Friday for a fresh rant about the $4-million well-intentioned but wrong-headed newspapers-are-alive-and-kicking campaign engineered by the New York Press Association. I said my piece on Feb. 23 (Hey, Opie — in New York, the newspapers think it’s the 1950s. Let’s put our pop in a sack and ride the Chevy to the levy and gaze at the stars) and on Feb. 18 (Promoting the walking dead).
[UPDATE: Click the Feb. 23 link and scroll to the bottom to read fresh comments posted March 31 through April 2.]
Today, Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish on the Atlantic put this ad from the campaign under a “Creepy Ad Watch” headline.
Sullivan quoted Copyranter:
New York City residents, your local papers want you to know that, while, yes they may be mortally wounded by digital news sources and even stupid blogs that break the big stories before they can, they’re not going down without passive-aggressively making you feel guilty as hell about their demise. That “Told ya” is just so preciously fucking childish.
And Lindsay Beyerstein on BigThink said this:
Print is officially dead. I held out hope longer than most, but I knew it was all over yesterday when this ad appeared at my New York City subway stop. …
This ad perfectly distills the ineptness of the newspaper industry. An unidentified group of managers at community papers pooled their last remaining dollars to hire an advertising agency to build a campaign around the idea of “Nobody loves us, but we told you so.” The money they spent guilt-tripping their readership could have funded coverage said readers actually care about.
Click on Coney Media’s Feb. 23 post to see the other ads in this series.