These are some of the things that have caught my attention lately. It’s a more eclectic mix than just the news business, but then so’s life:
- The Meltdown (Part III) | Robert Reich — “[C]onsumers in the real economy are coming to the end of their capacities to keep spending. They can’t take on any more debt. And with the costs of energy, food, and health insurance all soaring, they’re doing the only thing they can. They’re pulling in their belts. They’re leaving the malls. They’re not buying a new car or TV or anything else they can do without.
For years, regardless of the business cycle, American consumers were the Energizer Bunnies of the world economy. Their spending kept it going. But now the Energizer Bunnies have turned into scared rabbits, and they’re going back into their holes.”
- Dowsing for Journalists | NeuroLogica Blog — “Science stories are not fluff pieces simply because there is bad science involved … any such story, even if the topic itself is not consequential, is an opportunity to either educate the public about science and critical thinking or to confuse them. It doesn’t really matter what the topic is if the reader walks away less critical and more confused about science in general.”
- Magazines Are Solution to Web’s “Cesspool of Disinformation” Says Google’s Eric Schmidt | HuffPo — “Narrative sustains the [media] business,” said Schmidt, “…but the future of high quality journalism is a huge problem. A reasonable prediction is that there will be fewer voices. More money is needed to fund high quality work.” Schmidt rhetorically asked if “young audiences will want a more interactive experience in print.” Print, he suggested, “will be a smaller component of a much larger online business, serving an audience that consumes in a different way…
There is a danger, Schmidt exclaimed, of the Internet “becoming a cesspool,” adding it is in need of high quality content of the type provided by magazines. “In a world of disinformation, which is the future,” he said, “brands are the solution. Brand affinity is hard wired and fundamental to the human condition – who you trust and who you don’t. People want real value, real information, real leadership and messages of hope.”
- Nick Robinson: ‘I got too close to government in reporting Iraq’ | Hackademic — “The biggest self-criticism I have was [that] I got too close to government in the reporting of the Iraq war. I didn’t do enough to go away and say ‘well hold on, what about the other side?’ It is the one moment in my recent career where I have thought I didn’t push hard enough, I didn’t question enough and I should have been more careful.”
- The Bradley-Wilder-Dinkins Effect | Depth Reporting — “By analyzing Senate and Gubernatorial elections between 1989 and 2006, this paper has provided the first large sample test of the Wilder effect. In the early 1990s, there was a pronounced gap between polling and performance for black candidates of about 2.3 percentage points. But in the mid-1990s, that upward bias in telephone surveys disappeared.”
- What Happens to Newspapers? | New Media Knowledge — Tim Gopsill, Neil McIntosh, Martin Stabe, Justin Williams and Mike Rowley are the men with the answers at NMK’s panel on Tuesday 28÷10÷08.