Category Archives: State of the Media

State of the Media

Several paragraphs into this article, we discover in a parenthetical aside that three hours passed after the Safeway assassination in Arizona before any mention of it broke at the state’s largest newspaper, The Arizona Republic. Three hours, presumably because the paper has cut staff, and the murders happened on a Saturday, and what few reporters remain on-staff had to be rustled from their beds.

Pay attention, fellow news junkies, ‘cuz this is major-league mainstream corporate journalism in America, 2011.



Freedom of the Press: Good or Bad, Aren’t you glad you get some real news on the Internet?

“America’s journalists are not ‘newshounds’. They are nothing more than salesclerks, hocking the products their employers want to sell. The pretty faces that now function as most television news anchors are no different than the pretty models used to sell other products. The American “free” press is comprised of nothing more than a number of retail outlets which sell stories slanted to please their target audiences. As such, they exist merely to sell snake oil.”

Click Here for the story…

Tell PBS: Don’t Abandon Hard-Hitting Journalism

via UN Observer

2009-12-15 | Now, Bill Moyers Journal need worthy replacements

Bad news for PBS viewers: Now and the Bill Moyers Journal will be taken off the air in April 2010. Both programs stood out as all-too-rare examples of the hard-hitting, independent programming that should thrive on public television–which is why PBS should replace these programs with similarly thoughtful shows that continue this tradition. MORE

Beware of the Open Mike – Off-Air Comments that End Up On the Air Can Lead to Indecency Issues

By David Oxenford on Indecency

According to a recent article from the Des Moines Register, a station in Iowa recently fired two employees who, during what they thought was a break in programming, got into a heated, profanity-laden exchange which, luck would have it, ended up on the air as their mikes were live.  Fearing an FCC fine, the station owner fired the duo, hoping to mitigate any fine that the FCC might impose.  We will have to wait to see what impact the employers action will have on any action the FCC might take.  But the action demonstrates two things – first, mistakes happen and will happen whenever there is live programming.  Even clear station policies that absolutely ban such actions and make clear that they are a firing offense (as were apparently in place here) can’t stop human beings from messing up.  Second, the case reminds all on-air employees that they need to respect a microphone, and need to assume that a mike that can pick up sounds is in fact doing so.  Even Presidents seem to have had problems remembering that fact, but these live-mike slip ups can lead to FCC indecency fines.

The action also reminds us that, with the new administration now in place, we don’t know how the new FCC will enforce the indecency policy.  We are waiting for decisions on several court appeals of FCC indecency cases, and on the appointment of new FCC Commissioners.  Until we see the decisions in those cases, and find out who the new Commissioners are and how aggressively they want to enforce the rules, we will likely not know how cases like this one will be treated in the next few years.

Radio Industry Revenues Expected To Remain Low in 2009

A report from BIA forecasts radio’s revenue potential in the coming years, and while the economy looks bleak, there are bright spots. BIA says that small and mid-size markets are performing better and that income from digital sources is quickly proving itself to be a part of radio’s future.

According to BIA Advisory Services’ first edition of its quarterly Investing In Radio Market Report, 2008 closed with $16.7 billion in revenues (including online revenues), a decline of 8.5 percent from 2007. However, BIA’s data indicates that markets that are 51 and over were down only an average of 6.6 percent. BIA’s research also charts that the industry had online revenues of $247 million in 2008, up $67 million from 2007. Online revenue will increase an average of $132 million a year through 2013, a clear demonstration that as radio transforms into a cross-platform medium leveraging its local advertisers it will boost its revenues significantly. BIA predicts that the industry will start a slight positive trajectory beginning in 2011.

Click to enlarge

In 2009 the top 50 markets will see revenue declines in the 11 percent range, while mid-sized and small markets (ranked 51 and higher), such as Grand Junction, CO, Grand Forks, ND-MN, and Odessa-Midland, TX will be slightly lower at 9.64 percent. BIA sees the smaller markets as continuing to provide services to their local advertisers and maintaining their presence in the local media marketplace.


Appeals court refuses to unmask anonymous donut shop critics

A Maryland Appeals Court has overturned a lower ruling that would have unveiled the identity of three anonymous Internet commenters due to a technicality in the discovery process. Still, the judges offer advice on how trial courts should handle the situation in the future by respecting the First Amendment rights of the posters in question.

Read the story here

News orgs must reassess why they are using social media, says Ben Hammersley


Media can either aggregate cheap and plentiful content to draw in a mass audience or opt for high quality content, which pulls in fewer but more valuable people for advertisers, says Hammersley.

Wired, which launches in the UK next month, will opt for the latter. With at least five 8,000-word articles in each monthly issue, the Conde Nast title will bring a new kind of long-form, literary journalism to the UK strongly influenced by the US’ Vanity Fair, Esquire and New Yorker style, he adds.

“Everything in the middle [between aggregation and high quality] will die away and you’re going to see that in every industry, which is why we’re launching a big glossy magazine in the middle of a recession,” he says.

Read the story HERE…