CALL FOR A PUBLIC OPTION — IN NEWSPAPERING: There’s a clarion call in this morning’s Washington Post for a “new model for news reporting” that includes public support.
American society must now take some collective responsibility for supporting news reporting — as society has, at much greater expense, for public education, health care, scientific advancement and cultural preservation, through varying combinations of philanthropy, subsidy and government policy.
It may not be essential to save or promote any particular news medium, including print newspapers. What is paramount is preserving independent, original, credible reporting, whether or not it is profitable, and regardless of the medium in which it appears.
The Washington Post piece previews a longer discussion that will be available starting on Tuesday at www.columbiajournalismreport.org. UPDATE: Report can be downloaded now.
MIXED TIMES: (Ed’s view) As the NY Times adds local content in far-flung cities — this past weekend in San Francisco, soon in Chicago, later elsewhere — the Old Lady’s essentially stopped publishing local news in its much-hyped Sunday paper in New York. If the Times sees the need to localize in San Francisco and Chicago, why not in New York? Also: Times effort in Frisco get a negative review [BayNewser] and a Chicago report has the Times partnering with non-profits as the Wall Street Journal prepares to join the fray. [Chicago Tribune]
TWITTER TO THE RESCUE: A recap of last week’s free speech crisis in Britain. [NY Times]
FED REGS MUG BLOGGERS: FTC rules requiring disclosure of gifts are unfair because they “exempt traditional media from the rules — many newspapers, magazines and broadcasters accept free books and other products for their reviewers.” [Wall Street Journal] Also: Online advertisers protest plan. [Wall Street Journal]
THANKSGIVING TURKEYS: They go nicely with newspapers, in a new ad campaign. [Reuters]
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MURDOCH HOLDS FIRM: Amid both echoes of support and loud opposition, Rupert Murdoch is holding firm to his vision of the future — a vision that includes making consumers of all his media products pay a share. [The Age]
I have great faith in the future of newspapers, but perhaps newspapers is going to be the wrong term for them. They will be delivered electronically.
In Australia — where Murdoch’s career began in his family’s newspaper business — the head of the Australian Broadcasting Company is ridiculing both Murdoch’s approach (insisting ABC will remain free) and Murdoch himself. He said the News Corp boss, “acting on the assumption that you still have the power that befits the emperor,” believes “that because you once controlled the world you can continue to do so, because you once set the rules you can do so again.”
Of course, the fight’s not entirely grounded entirely on either ethics or business sense. As Murdoch’s team will explain, public broadcasters like Australia’s ABC and the UK’s BBC are hardly free; those public services live off the taxpayers’ dime.
More on Murdoch: Online payment pessimists face content reality check [The Australian], News Limited Returns Fire — and Their Secret Plans [Content Makers], and readers are asked if newspapers should charge for Web content [Wall Street Journal].
ABC (Australia) report via YouTube:
Meanwhile, in the US, the White House continued its assault on Fox News [Wall Street Journal], saying Fox is “not really news”: