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To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (1356)4/2/2012 10:51:17 AM
From: Ron
   of 1789
 
--There is a paucity of facts and an excess of processing power--


Absolutely! Considering the mass layoffs of reporters over the last ten years, expect this to continue for
awhile.
In too many places, as James Brown said lots of "Talking loud and saying nothing."

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From: Ron4/3/2012 3:46:53 PM
2 Recommendations   of 1789
 
Talk Radio Face-Off Approaches
nytimes.com 

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From: Ron4/4/2012 6:19:24 PM
1 Recommendation   of 1789
 
Newsroom employment in 2011 continued to Decline in the U. S.
WASHINGTON, DC (April 4, 2012) Total newsroom employment at daily newspapers declined by 2.4 percent in 2011, while the loss in minority newsroom positions was 5.7 percent, according to a census released today by the American Society of News Editors and the Center for Advanced Social Research (CASR) at the Missouri School of Journalism.

ASNE, which has conducted its Newsroom Employment Census of professional full-time journalists since 1978, announced the results on the last day of its annual convention, which is being held this week in Washington, D.C, at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel. This is the first year that CASR, a unit of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at Missouri, joined forces with ASNE to collect and analyze the data. The Robert R. McCormick Foundation provided all of the funding for the year's census.

Despite this year's loss in newsroom positions, the decline in jobs that began in 2006-07 appears to be stabilizing. The loss this year is not as drastic as the losses between 2007 and 2010.

rjionline.org 

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From: Ron4/4/2012 8:08:05 PM
1 Recommendation   of 1789
 
Interesting speculation that Google TV will soon support movie rentals through Youtube.
Now that would, indeed take a bite out of Netflix.
mashable.com 

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To: Ron who wrote (1357)4/8/2012 10:48:35 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
2 Recommendations   of 1789
 
Considering the mass layoffs of reporters over the last ten years, expect this to continue for awhile.

Too many bloggers pontificating; too few reporters generating meat for the grinder.

Newspaper Barons Resurface

By DAVID CARR
New York Times
April 8, 2012

Is there anything more forlorn than the American metropolitan newspaper? First readers began deserting in droves, then the advertisers followed. Family owners headed for the exits and then hedge funds and other financial players scooped up newspapers thinking they were buying at the bottom of the market. Greater fools came and went, each saying they could cut their way to former glory and renewed profitability. They got a haircut instead.

Many smaller community newspapers remain stable and newspapers with a large national footprint have generally done better. But quite a few of the midsize regional and metropolitan dailies that form the core of the industry have gone off a cliff: over all, the newspaper industry is half as big as it was seven years ago.

So if most newspapers are an uneconomical proposition incapable of sustaining profits, let alone pay off the debt so many buyers have larded on them, who is left to own them?

Rich guys.

Not the merely well off, but the kind of men with who long ago separated themselves from humdrum economic realities of life. Sure there are other expensive hobbies, but how many antique cars or 19th century landscapes can you own? Newspapers may be short on profits, but they have become a new form of ostentation. How rich is he? He can afford to own a newspaper, for crying out loud.

At the end of last year, Warren E. Buffett bought The Omaha World-Herald through his company, Berkshire Hathaway. This would be the same Mr. Buffett who told his annual shareholder meeting in 2009 that newspapers faced “unending losses” and that he would he not buy most of them “at any price.” Yet there he was, ponying up $200 million for a relatively small regional newspaper in Berkshire Hathaway’s hometown.

And he is not alone. Douglas F. Manchester, a very rich developer, bought The San Diego Union Tribune at about the same time, for a reported $110 million. At the end of last month, S. Donald Sussman, a hedge fund manager and philanthropist who is married to a congresswoman, Chellie Pingree, bought a stake in the company that owns The Portland Press Herald in Maine.

And then word came at the beginning of last week that a group of very rich, very influential Philadelphia businessmen — including George E. Norcross III, a Democratic power broker in Southern New Jersey, and Lewis Katz, the parking magnate — bought the Philadelphia Media Network, which owns The Inquirer, The Daily News and Philly.com.

Does all this smart money see something the rest of us have failed to? Some hidden, unlocked riches in these distressed assets? No. In each instance, the buyer was motivated, at least in part, by the fact that the newspapers faced an existential threat: but for the new owners and their deep pockets, they might go away.

The benefactors also stand to benefit in ways that may not go directly to the bottom line, but have significant value. We will give the Oracle of Omaha a bye here because no newspaper can touch him — newsprint spitballs against a battleship — but in San Diego, Mr. Manchester has been frank about using the paper to prosecute a pro-development, pro-new-stadium agenda.

Mr. Sussman is now wed to both a member of Congress and one of the largest newspapers in Maine, so the conflict there is manifest. And the men involved in the Philadelphia purchase have received frequent and sometimes rugged coverage from the papers there.

At this point, the media columnist is supposed to make tsk-tsk noises about editorial independence. But that moralism is a luxury that mostly belongs to another era, when newspapers had functional monopolies and everyone was dying to get their hands on them. Now selling a newspaper is akin to peddling a used Humvee, a hulking beast that has lost relevance in a changed landscape.

Besides, who is to say that it will turn out badly, at least in terms of sustaining much-needed coverage in important American cities? The Philadelphia properties have had four owners in the last five years and the recent sale price of $55 million was just 10 percent of what they were worth in 2006. One of the ownership groups was led by Brian P. Tierney, a public relations executive who was assailed for harboring all manner of agendas when he helped buy the newspapers.

At the time, a former Inquirer reporter, Ralph Cipriano, said of Mr. Tierney: “He doesn’t understand what we do. He doesn’t respect what we do, and he doesn’t think we should be doing it.” He added: “I don’t see how a guy like that can run a newspaper and not just turn it into another extension of the spin machine.”

It didn’t turn out that way. Mr. Tierney eventually lost control of the papers for business reasons, but when he did, the staffs and many people in Philadelphia hailed him as a hero, a man who rigorously oversaw the editorial independence of a newspaper he once fought with.

One reason he got such high marks is that he hired William K. Marimow, formerly a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at The Inquirer. Mr. Marimow was quickly dismissed after Mr. Tierney lost control of the newspapers to his lenders.

Mr. Katz and Mr. Norcross faced similar skepticism in the run-up to their purchase. Just before the sale was announced, The Inquirer quoted a report by the New Jersey comptroller accusing Mr. Norcross of orchestrating an insurance payback scheme. Arriving with a big credibility gap, the new owners responded by bringing back Mr. Marimow from Arizona State, where he had been teaching, and reinstalling him as editor in chief.

If you pull back a few thousand feet, you can see newspapers coming full circle. Before World War II, newspapers were mostly owned by political and business interests who used them to push an agenda. People like William Randolph Hearst and Robert McCormick wielded their newspapers as cudgels to get their way. It was only when newspapers began making all kinds of money in the postwar era that they were professionalized and infused with editorial standards.

“We are going back to a form of ownership that dominated in an earlier era,” said Alan D. Mutter, a newspaper and technology consultant. “As newspapers become less impressive businesses, people are going to buy them as trophies or bully pulpits or some other form of personal expression.”


David Nasaw, a professor of history at the CUNY Graduate Center, has written extensively about the newspaper barons of old. He is skeptical about the motives of their modern descendants. “People just have to be aware that other agendas exist, and the owners should be clear about that, but any time a big city newspaper is saved, I think we should stand up and salute.”

The Philly newspapers may end up being a cat toy for the new owners. Or the owners could catch the journalism bug and access the angels of their better natures.

Mr. Marimow, speaking before he had to run off to teach a class, said that it beats the alternative.

“I am coming back because I strongly believe that this ownership group, despite their connections, is interested in producing news in print and online that is going to be distinguished and will serve the public in the Philadelphia area,” he said. “I also believe that over the long term, they will produce a highly profitable business.”

I’m both a journalism geek and an optimist, so I’ll choose to believe most of what he believes. Except that last part about “highly profitable.”

nytimes.com 

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To: stockman_scott who wrote (1322)4/14/2012 10:29:31 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
1 Recommendation   of 1789
 
The Provocateur

By DAVID CARR
New York Times
April 13, 2012

ON the last night of February, Arthur Sando was having a drink at the Brentwood Restaurant and Lounge in Los Angeles when a bearded silver-haired man took a seat next to him, ordered a glass of pinot noir and began typing into his BlackBerry.

Mr. Sando quickly realized he was sitting next to Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger and author, and the two began to chat. As with almost any encounter with Mr. Breitbart, the next 90 minutes between the former strangers was punctuated by laughs, some outrageous political assertions and repeated interruptions as Mr. Breitbart checked his smartphone.

“We talked politics, television, college and living in Los Angeles,” Mr. Sando said, adding that Mr. Breitbart had a single glass of wine during the conversation and seemed to be in both good spirits and good health. “He said that conversations like ours were why he liked to go to bars and talk with people who had different political beliefs.”

Mr. Sando paid his tab and left. Not long after, Mr. Breitbart, 43, settled his own bill and apparently headed to the nearby home he shared with his wife, Susie Bean Breitbart, and their four young children. Minutes after exiting the bar, he collapsed in front of a Starbucks like a “sack of potatoes,” one witness said. Paramedics were unable to revive him. Later, his father-in-law, the actor Orson Bean, said that Mr. Breitbart had a history of heart ailments. (A final coroner’s report, with the official cause of death, is expected this month.)

The following morning, Mr. Sando, a marketing executive from Los Angeles whose encounter with Mr. Breitbart was first reported in The Hollywood Reporter, grabbed his iPhone. The first thing he saw was a headline saying Mr. Breitbart had died.

“I thought it was a prank,” he said in a recent telephone interview. “I thought he might have been in the habit of sending fake headlines to people he had encountered with different political opinions.”

It was a common response, particularly among people who knew him well. After a lifetime of pranks, capers and so many people wishing him dead, it would have been just like Mr. Breitbart to stage his own demise.

“I kept thinking, he is going to pull something off here,” said Representative Louie Gohmert, Republican of Texas, at a memorial held at the Newseum in Washington three weeks later. “He’s going to find out who hates his guts and who loved him, and I kept wanting to hear back, ‘O.K., the gag’s up.’ ”

On the Web, there was a huge outpouring of both invective and grief. Dark, unsubstantiated theories that he was murdered mushroomed immediately, while 24 of his friends used the hashtag #DJBreitbart on Twitter to offer a playlist of his beloved ’80s music. His own Twitter account (which included more than 80 tweets sent on the day before his death) now sits as a frozen memorial.

In the days following the death of Mr. Breitbart, many of his admirers adopted a meme of “I am Breitbart,” and vowed to continue his work. But even though his Web site, run by his business partner and lifelong friend Larry Solov, is fully staffed and unveiled a redesign after his death, there could be no real replacement.

For good or ill (and most would say ill), no one did it like Mr. Breitbart.

ANDREW BREITBART jacked into the Web early and never unplugged. As someone who worked on the Drudge Report and The Huffington Post in the early days and was busy building his own mini-empire of conservative opinion and infotainment at Breitbart.com, he understood in a fundamental way how discourse could be profoundly shaped by the pixels generated far outside the mainstream media he held in such low regard.

Mr. Breitbart, as much as anyone, turned the Web into an assault rifle, helping to bring down Acorn, a community organizing group, with the strategic release of undercover videos made by James O’Keefe, a conservative activist; forcing Shirley Sherrod, an Agriculture Department official, out of her job with a misleadingly edited clip of a speech; and flushing out Representive Anthony D. Weiner, Democrat of New York, when he tried to lie about lewd pictures he had sent via Twitter.

Less watchdog than pit bull (and one who, without the technology of the 21st century, might have been just one more angry man shouting from a street corner), Mr. Breitbart altered the rules of civil discourse.

Mark Feldstein, a journalism professor at the University of Maryland, said that Mr. Breitbart “used the tools of invective and polemic to change the conversation, to try to turn it to his advantage.”

Mr. Breitbart was a ubiquitous presence on and off the Web, though not one who ever managed to have significant business success there. His star rose along with the Tea Party, of which he was an early and frequent defender.

But he cut an odd figure for a conservative, holding forth with lectures on political theory that name-dropped Michel Foucault and other leftist thinkers. He could also be mordantly funny. (His Twitter avatar was an echo of the apocryphal Jesus imprint on a piece of toast.) Matt Labash, senior editor at The Weekly Standard, described him as “half right wing Yippie, half Andy Kaufman,” in his column after Mr. Breitbart died.

In 2011, while various religious groups boycotted the Conservative Political Action Conference because of the inclusion of gay Republican groups, he helped hold a party for the gay groups.

He was conversant in pop culture — The Cure and New Order were particular musical favorites — and thought nothing of wearing in-line skates, his longish hair trailing behind him, as he confronted protesters at a rally outside a conservative event hosted by David and Charles Koch in Palm Springs, Calif., in 2011. Once he was done berating the protesters, he took some of them to dinner at Applebee’s.

Mr. Breitbart took in life in big gulps, but he spat out even bigger portions of bile. The day that Senator Edward M. Kennedy died, he called him “a special pile of human excrement” and tweeted, “Rest in Chappaquiddick.” Matt Yglesias of Slate returned the favor after Mr. Breitbart died, tweeting that: “Conventions around dead people are ridiculous. The world outlook is slightly improved with @AndrewBreitbart dead.”

Many of his familiars called him a “happy warrior,” but worried about his health because he never seemed to unplug.

“If Twitter ever killed anyone, it was Andrew,” said the Weekly Standard’s Mr. Labash. “Andrew was a magnet for hatred, and he used Twitter for a full frontal assault, a tool of combat,”

Friends and colleagues described Mr. Breitbart as both jester and provocateur, one who enjoyed soy lattes (a family friend sprinkled coffee grounds from Starbucks onto his grave) almost as much as waging war on what he saw as Democratic hypocrisy.

“Andrew was a kind of human pinball, always doing something while doing something else, but he never took himself all that seriously,” said Greg Gutfeld, the host of “Red Eye” on Fox News who frequently booked Mr. Breitbart as a guest. “He was the least serious, serious person I ever met.”

A student of the tactics of the leftist organizer Saul Alinsky (if not his politics), Mr. Breitbart played defense by giving offense, subscribing to Alinsky’s theorem that “the real action is in the enemy’s reaction.” He wielded a network of conservative sources, including a number of members of Congress, four of whom spoke at his Washington memorial, to sow mayhem opportunistically.

As is often the case, there is no more ferocious advocate than a convert.

“He rejected the culture that produced him, and once that process began, it could not be reversed,” said Tucker Carlson, the founder of The Daily Caller, a conservative Web site. “My strong sense was that he loved the performance aspect, the drama of it all, and lived for those moments of provocation.”

WITH piercing blue eyes and ruddily handsome Celtic features, Mr. Breitbart looked more like a fresh-off-the-boat Irish storyteller than the son of a banker mother and restaurateur father in Brentwood. Adopted (along with a sister of Mexican descent), he was raised Jewish, and went to college at Tulane in New Orleans. He majored in American Studies, and began a period of heavy drinking and drug use that he described as “debauched” in his 2011 book, “Righteous Indignation.”

After college, he bounced between Los Angeles and Austin, Tex., without much direction, but discovered a kind of religion and purpose after idly tuning in to talk radio and finding himself nodding in agreement to Rush Limbaugh and others.

Mr. Breitbart was activated as a conservative for good by the 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas, a process he believed was filled with politically motivated innuendo.

But his ferocious adoption of conservative values found real traction in his first true love, the early Internet. In a letter from his wife, Susie, that was read at his memorial by Mr. Solov, she suggested that her husband took one look at the Web and moved right in.

It read: “To Andrew, the Internet was a portal into the future. It works the way his mind worked — go here, turn left, click on this, go right, over here, back here, back where you started. Like one of those ‘choose your own adventure’ books from childhood. It all just made sense to him.”

After the Drudge Report all but tipped over President Clinton by pushing the Monica Lewinsky scandal into plain view, Mr. Breitbart realized that the Web had moved beyond a curio for techies.

“Andrew recognized very early on, before many people did, that the conversation was moving onto the Web,” said Arianna Huffington, who saw him in the weeks before his death. In the late ’90s, when he was her research assistant in her home, he happily pretended to dine on the mud pies that Ms. Huffington’s daughters made for him, and after he began having children, the two families, who lived near each other, remained close.

“He brought two things to the blog,” Ms. Huffington said of their early working relationship. “He knew when a big story was about to happen. But more important, he could find stories buried in the 13th paragraph, link them with other things and put a spotlight on them.”

His expertise was less technical than intuitive, with a mad scientist’s touch for curating and packaging news that made it especially clickable.

“He didn’t have a deep understanding of technology,” said Jonah Peretti, who also worked on the start-up and now runs BuzzFeed. “He was a Web news junkie from the very beginning, with a quickness and obsessiveness that kept him up all hours.”

Although Mr. Breitbart helped start The Huffington Post, it became apparent within a month that the political chasm between him and Ms. Huffington was too great, and his attention span for office matters far too short.

Mr. Breitbart saw infinite possibilities on the Web, starting a series of Web sites — Big Government, Big Hollywood, Big Journalism — under the banner of Breitbart.com.

“I think that he took the guidelines and principles of talk radio, where you could say almost anything and get away with it, and applied it to the Internet,” said Eric Boehlert, a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, a liberal research center on the media, who battled constantly with Mr. Breitbart.

Mr. Breitbart specialized in teasing a small ember of a story, whether it was an inconsistency or a gaffe, and dumping gasoline on it until it blew up — sometimes on him, sometimes on others. “If you do a good enough job, you can force them to make a mistake,” he wrote in his book. “When they do, you must be ready to exploit it.”

Through a carefully managed release of clips from Mr. O’Keefe, the undercover conservative operative, he brought down Acorn, a huge nonprofit that found itself summarily defunded by Congress after its representatives appeared to offer help to Mr. O’Keefe and a colleague when they showed up posing as a pimp and a prostitute.

When there were rumors that Representative Weiner had sent sexually suggestive photos over his Twitter account, Mr. Breitbart pushed the story along with new revelations and eventually hijacked the podium at Mr. Weiner’s news conference to suggest that the congressman was lying. Mr. Weiner resigned soon after.

Working with Mr. O’Keefe, he also used heavily edited video clips to savage Ms. Sherrod, an obscure official at the Agriculture Department, by giving the appearance that she made racially motivated financing decisions, when actually she was doing the opposite.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington in 2011, Mr. Breitbart was served papers for a lawsuit that alleged that he recklessly destroyed her reputation. A representative for Ms. Sherrod said settlement negotiations were continuing despite Mr. Breitbart’s death.

THREE weeks before he died, Mr. Breitbart took the stage at CPAC, the jagged tip of the spear on all things conservative. He entered to the refrains of “Guerrilla Radio” from the band Rage Against the Machine and implored the crowd: “You need to join me in my war against the institutional left!”

He went on to accuse the mainstream media of demonizing the Tea Party. At the end of his stem-winding summation of the recent history of the Democratic Party, he suggested that the election of President Obama was part of a putsch by the Democrats (“The rest of us slept while they plotted and they plotted and they plotted”) to seize the presidency.

“This is not your mother’s Democratic Party!” he thundered, and then later added, “Barack Obama is a radical, and we should not be afraid to say that.”

But he was not done. Mr. Breitbart was never done.

The following day, angered by the Occupy Wall Street protesters who circled the event at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, he stepped out of the hotel armed with nothing more than a wineglass and began bellowing at them while the cameras rolled.

“Behave yourselves! Behave yourselves! Behave yourselves!,” he shouted, 20 times in a row for over a minute. And then he got a little more specific, alluding to a report that women had been assaulted in various Occupy encampments. “Stop raping people! Stop raping people! Stop raping people! Stop raping the people! You freaks! You filthy, filthy, raping, murdering freaks!”

The protesters surrounded Mr. Breitbart and began chanting back at him, while he seemed to bask in their umbrage. His work done, he was led back inside by hotel security officers, having started yet another viral storm on the Web. It turned out to be his last.

Following his memorial, his colleagues and friends gathered in a house behind the Capitol — Mr. Breitbart had rented a huge, ornate house he called “the Embassy” that served as both salon and a Washington base for his media company — to tell stories and reminisce. A family friend remembered watching Andrew, at age 2, bang his head on a concrete floor when he did not get his way, foretelling a life of stubborn conflict.

At both the memorial and the after-party, stories about his relentlessness and love of argument were legion. In her note read at the memorial, his wife reminded the crowd that Mr. Breitbart was willing to engage and argue with anyone. “I came home one day to our first apartment to find a couple of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” she wrote, “trying to wrap up the conversation and get out.”

The people in the audience, many of whom had spent countless hours locked in conversational combat with Mr. Breitbart, laughed long and hard at that one.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/fashion/the-life-and-death-of-andrew-breitbart.html?pagewanted=print

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To: stockman_scott who wrote (1322)4/15/2012 11:08:07 AM
From: Glenn Petersen
2 Recommendations   of 1789
 
From Flash to Fizzle

By BRIAN STELTER
New York Times
Published: April 14, 2012

I DON’T remember how old I was when I first climbed up to the roof of my family’s home in suburban Maryland. Eleven, maybe? Twelve? But I do remember what I saw up there. It was the night of the Fourth of July, and it was turning dark enough for the fireworks.

As I was seated facing south, in the direction of the town closest to me, Damascus, I tried to guess where on the horizon I’d see the first stray green or red or blue shell — the one that serves as a five-minute warning that the show’s about to start. But on this night, I didn’t see the first explosion in the sky. I heard it.
The sound had come from far away, in the direction of a neighboring town, Mount Airy. The fireworks show there had already started, pre-empting my town’s. Soon I could see both shows simultaneously, and before long a few families on my street fired off a few shells of their own, and I watched in awe until all I saw in the sky were stars.

Today, this is what our news culture looks like to consumers: individual bursts of light that appear out of nowhere and disappear just as fast.

What else can we call a story that generates 100 million views on YouTube in a matter of days, garners outrage among young people across the country and spurs several resolutions in Congress — and then practically vanishes?

The YouTube views were for a video produced by Invisible Children, a small nonprofit group that was trying to draw attention to Joseph Kony, the head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, an African guerrilla group that has mounted attacks against civilians for more than 20 years. But his name probably needs no explanation now. “KONY 2012,” as the video was dubbed, became an international news sensation in early March, “rocketing across Twitter and Facebook at a pace rarely seen for any video, let alone a half-hour film about a distant conflict in Central Africa,” as The New York Times put it in a front-page article on March 9.

The video succeeded in making Mr. Kony famous, which was the first of the group’s stated goals. Maybe a year from now he’ll be arrested, as the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has vowed. “Now we have the citizens of the world pushing for that, and that is helping a lot,” he told The Associated Press earlier this month. “It will be the end of the Joseph Kony crimes.”

But in the United States, at least, Mr. Kony is no longer in the news or on Twitter’s ever-refreshing list of trending topics.

Fireworks like “KONY 2012” burn more brightly than they would have in the past, but for better or worse, they tend to be extinguished faster than ever, too. Just ask Jeremy Lin, who’s no longer a source of “Linsanity,” or Karen Handel, who’s no longer a top official at the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, or Michele Bachmann, no longer a presidential candidate. Or Rick Perry. Or Herman Cain. (If you can remember why they were newsworthy at all.)

In a few days, ask Hilary Rosen, whose comments about Ann Romney sparked a brief but furious “mommy war” last week.

These flash-in-the-pan episodes have long been evident in the entertainment universe. The breakup of a marriage like Kim Kardashian’s or the death of a superstar like Whitney Houston prompts instant heehawing and told-ya-so-ing, and a month later we’re hard-pressed to remember that it happened at all.

But now, the same overreactions happen with political news — when Sarah Palin hints again at running for president or Rush Limbaugh insults a law student on the radio.

Except now, instead of asking “Where were you” when a news story flashes before us like a firework, we ask, “Who told you?”

Users of social networking Web sites flit from one story to another, attracted by what their friends are saying and what the omnipresent lists of trending topics are stressing. There’s a law that might harm the Internet! Click. Beyoncé’s having a baby! Click. There’s pink slime in our hamburger meat! Click. You can almost hear the shells bursting in the nighttime sky.

“The news itself has become so ubiquitous, so constant that our eyes only pop out when a really shiny object comes flowing down the river,” said Jim Bankoff, the head of Vox Media, which operates the sports Web site SB Nation and the technology site The Verge. “People don’t just consume it, they ‘like’ it, retweet and e-mail it. All this sharing leads to more sharing, which sets off a trend, which sparks more coverage.”

Sometimes this can be distracting; sometimes, even suffocating. And yet we seem to gain something from it — a common online conversation. A common ground. Or at the very least, a currency for jokes.

AND then, just as suddenly, we switch over to the next big story.

Google search rankings, video view records and Twitter trending topics tell users when the crowd has moved on. Then the joke becomes: “Kony who?”

Of the 7.1 million page views of Wikipedia’s article on Mr. Kony so far this year, 5 million were racked up in the three days when the video was a hot topic online. Now it’s viewed fewer than 15,000 times a day.
0
Perhaps this flitting from story to story also reflects the sense of accomplishment Web users feel when we think action has been taken against the day’s injustice. Certainly, there was celebration online when Netflix reversed itself on its plan to break up streaming and DVD services. And there was celebration among Mr. Limbaugh’s critics, too, every time an advertiser distanced itself from his show.

It may be true when it comes to more serious subjects as well, like Mr. Kony’s decades of brutality. Vivian Schiller, the chief digital officer for NBC News (and a former executive at The New York Times Company) credits some of the intensity of the news cycle to both the access to social media and “the sense of empowerment that social media has generated.”

The February shooting of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old in Sanford, Fla., may have never received national media attention were it not for the initial bursts of Twitter and Facebook buzz.

The same is probably true of Mr. Kony, who is believed to be in hiding in Central Africa. Two weeks after “KONY 2012” was released, I asked a group of 12 students at the University of Memphis how many knew who Mr. Kony was. Eleven students immediately raised their hands — and then the 12th student meekly raised his hand, too, probably out of fear of being an outcast. Four said they had watched the video in its entirely. Yet none of them had heard anything about Mr. Kony or his army in the days since.

Some of the students had also heard about another viral video — this one courtesy of TMZ, showing the Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell pacing a Santa Monica, Calif., street, unclothed, in what the media described as a breakdown. It ignited no new burst of Kony coverage, however. Traffic for the “KONY 2012” video barely budged.

The group called its next video “ Part II — Beyond Famous.” Released on April 4, the video defended the group against critics and previewed plans for a night of action on April 20. It has been viewed over 1.6 million times — impressive on its own, but a mere bottle rocket compared to the fireworks a month earlier. The group had its moment — and now the dazzling flashes of light are elsewhere.

Brian Stelter is a media reporter for The New York Times.

A version of this news analysis appeared in print on April 15, 2012, on page SR5 of the New York edition with the headline: From Flash to Fizzle.


nytimes.com 

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From: Sr K4/18/2012 5:37:14 PM
   of 1789
 
Summary Box: News Corp suspends voting rights of some non-US shareholders to comply with law

By The Associated Press | Associated Press – 10 minutes ago

NO VOTE: News Corp. has suspended half the voting rights of non-U.S. owners of Class B shares, the type with voting rights.

WHAT HAPPENED: U.S. law restricts foreign ownership ofbroadcast licenses. As News Corp was preparing to renew licenses, it discovered that 36 percent of its Class B shares were held by foreigners, beyond the permitted 25 percent.

BALANCING THE POWER: Normally, such a move would increase the voting power of CEO Rupert Murdoch and his family's trust. But News Corp. said they agreed to refrain from voting shares they hold in a way that would increase their influence.

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From: Ron5/2/2012 9:17:50 AM
2 Recommendations   of 1789
 
Top newspapers by circulation, paper & digital:
accessabc.wordpress.com 

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To: stockman_scott who wrote (1322)5/6/2012 11:11:07 PM
From: Glenn Petersen
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‘60 Minutes’ Gets Younger, and Its Viewers Do Too

By BRIAN STELTER
New York Times
May 6, 2012

The oldest newsmagazine on television, “60 Minutes,” might have figured out how to halt the aging process.

Purposefully but almost imperceptibly, the CBS News program, the most popular of its genre, has become younger in recent years. Stalwarts like Steve Kroft and Lesley Stahl have been joined by new contributors like Lara Logan and Anderson Cooper. And the program has embraced the Web to a degree that some of its older viewers have not, selling an iPad app on iTunes and promoting a weekly online show, “Overtime.” After televising an hourlong “60 Minutes” tribute to Mike Wallace, a founding correspondent who died last month, CBS proudly noted in a news release that “ ‘Mike Wallace’ was a worldwide trending topic on Twitter Sunday night.”

Perhaps consequentially, or maybe just coincidentally, the 44-year-old newsmagazine is bucking network television’s downward ratings trend. In the season that started in September, viewership among 25- to 54-year-olds, the demographic that CBS hopes to reach, is up about 6 percent, to an average 3.5 Nielsen rating, from a 3.3. That increase has come even as the total viewer rating for “60 Minutes” has remained about the same.

Given that this has been a season of memorial services for “60 Minutes” legends, for Andy Rooney last winter, then for Mr. Wallace this spring, the gains have been especially heartening to the staff.

“It’s hard in television to grow from year to year,” said Jeff Fager, the “60 Minutes” executive producer. Indeed, the program’s average audience did slip a bit in 2009 and 2010. “Yet that’s what we set out to do every season,” he said. “To do it this season with younger viewers, for a news broadcast, is particularly gratifying.”

Mr. Fager, himself a signifier of generational change (at age 49, he took over for the creator of “60 Minutes,” Don Hewitt, then age 81), has gradually given tryouts to a new generation of correspondents, including Ms. Logan, who will become a full-time correspondent on “60 Minutes” next season — the first addition to the ranks in seven years.

At 41, Ms. Logan is 13 years younger than the next-youngest full-time correspondent on the broadcast, Scott Pelley, whom Mr. Fager promoted in 2005. For the last decade she has been splitting her time between the newsmagazine and the news division’s other programs. Younger reporters, she said, are “earning our place” on “60 Minutes,” a famously cutthroat environment even by the competitive standards of newsrooms.

“People don’t have welcoming parties around here,” said Bill Owens, who as executive editor is Mr. Fager’s No. 2 at the program. “If you can do the work, you get an approving nod.”

That seriousness is a legacy of Mr. Hewitt and Mr. Wallace, whose names and sayings are still invoked routinely by staff members. “Part of the reason that this place is still doing well is that viewers expect the reporting and the storytelling to be done at a very high level,” and failing to live up to that standard would be akin to “letting down your father,” Mr. Owens said.

The “60 Minutes” staff remains cloistered in a Manhattan office building across West 57th Street from the rest of CBS News. But employees have been crossing the street more often in the last year, ever since Mr. Fager was made the chairman of CBS News in a bid to spread the “60 Minutes” sensibility to other shows. He has offices on both sides now.

So does Mr. Pelley, who has remained a full-time correspondent while also serving as anchor of the “CBS Evening News” for the last 11 months. The other full-timers are Mr. Kroft, 66; Ms. Stahl, 70; and Bob Simon, 70. None have signaled any plans to retire soon. (Morley Safer, 80, is technically part-time, though he has reported 11 segments this season, according to CBS News.)

Story counts are a measure of success at “60 Minutes,” which runs about 100 original segments each season. Some full-time correspondents used to report more than 20 stories a season; now the average is more like 15, in part because there are more repeat programs each season and in part because other, younger reporters are getting chances to contribute.

Byron Pitts, 51, who also reports for the “CBS Evening News,” has had four stories this season; Anderson Cooper, 44, the CNN anchor, has had three; Dr. Sanjay Gupta, 42, the CNN chief medical correspondent, has had two.

“Jeff Fager and company have made the show younger and more energetic without anyone noticing that it’s had work done,” said Steven Reiner, a former “60 Minutes” producer who is an associate professor of journalism at Stony Brook University. “It’s the television equivalent of what Tina Brown did years back when she took over The New Yorker.”

Mr. Cooper and Dr. Gupta’s contributions are contractually limited since they work for CNN. But Dr. Gupta, who had his first story last season, had two more this season and Mr. Fager said, “He’ll be doing more with us next year.”

A CBS executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that were Mr. Cooper to become available to “60 Minutes” full time, he would be hired “in a heartbeat.” Mr. Cooper’s deal with CNN and with his daytime talk show extend through next year.

Mr. Fager emphasized in an interview that “60 Minutes” does not cater to any particular demographic. Like most news programs, more than half of its audience is 55 or older. About 13 million viewers watch on any given Sunday, the single biggest audience for hard-hitting journalism on television.

Asked about the program’s ratings resilience in the 25- to 54-year-old demographic, Mr. Fager said the reasons may include the show’s Web sites and apps, which “reach an audience that might not make an appointment with us at 7 p.m.”; its efforts to gain subscribers on Facebook and Twitter; and its story selection. He cited Sunday night’s profile of the swimmer Michael Phelps by Mr. Cooper: “I think that probably would have an appeal to a younger audience.”

Some critics have chided the broadcast for a surplus of sports-related stories in the fall, when it benefits from a lead-in from highly rated football games. But Mr. Hewitt always viewed “60 Minutes” as a showcase for features as well as investigative stories. To the producers, it’s a sampling opportunity that must be seized, and may be helping attract young viewers.

In an interview, Mr. Kroft suggested another partial explanation for the youthful glow. “People grow up watching this show with their parents at the dinner table,” he said, then they become parents and start watching with their children. “It’s a family tradition that comes from being on the air for 40 years.”

nytimes.com 

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