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The day the media died

American Pie is just about the most perfect song ever written or sung. So, it’s with a bit of trepidation that I watched the following video — hate to see such next-to-godliness blasphemed. But honestly, I think maybe this little ditty does AP justice in some perfectly perverse 2009 way.

And just for the record. I hate, hate, hate everything about YouTube and I’m equally disdainful (go ahead and hate me) of its ubiquity and of my friends when they say “Oh, you’ve got to see this thing on YouTube” — in general, I think I’d rather throw up.

However, I’m making an exception for this exceptionally literate piece of propaganda (?). Watch it, and weep, all your printed page lovers out there. Just one rule: watch this baby through to the end.

Posted on June 12th, 2009Comments RSS Feed
2 Responses to The day the media died
  1. Stan Zimmerman
    June 14, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    MC, I watched and worked in a variety of media “that died.” Once upon a time, every little radio station in the county had local news. Farm reports in corn country, city hall machinations in urban areas and everybody woke up to it and took it for granted. Then the FCC repealed the Fairness Doctrine, and said “community service” was optional. That pulled the plug on local radio news because severing the connection with their community was short-term profitable. And everybody – repeat everybody – cashed in. The only local real news on radio today comes from listener-supported community stations like WSLR and WMNF. The corporates could care less.

    TV news was once a vital part of the community. But it slowly, inexorably moved to bleeding ledes and society fluff – because consultants said it attracted more viewers than city hall politics and complex tax issues. Plus viewers were not really paying attention anyway, except to the anchorman’s new tie or the weather girl’s cleavage. And soon, real TV news reporting was history. And the corporates could care less.

    Business-to-business newsletters – the inside scoop on how to make money – enjoyed a hay-day in the 1980s and 1990s. But e-mail and internet postings put the print versions at a disadvantage. Why buy an $500 newsletter when the marketing department could fish out 70% of the content by checking press releases? Once again, corporate decision-making, this time on the user end.

    Today it is newspapers. The Boston Globe teters, the “Rocky” folds, free media rules. Publishers scramble to find new biz models. Three-day-only delivery, internet-only delivery, slash paper size, increase prices, the hunt goes on. Meanwhile the quarry slips away….readers who enjoy ink with their eyes.

    If I had a solution, I’d be on the way to becoming a zillionaire. Like you, I’m just a scrivener. But I have great faith the American political system requires a free and unfettered press. How the practitioners will be paid is the issue. Will unpaid bloggers be our future? I hope not.

    I spoke with Steve Gibson this week, the SHT outdoor writer and editor for the past 34 years. They let him go in late April without a handshake. He joins more than 10,000 print and broadcast reporters and editors who’ve lost their jobs in the past 18 months. Politicians and criminals must be rejoicing. s/Stan Zimmerman

    ps. If it’s video on the future of news you’re interested in, Google “EPIC 2015.” That’s one possible outcome.

  2. Thanks for such a great posting, Stan. I too hope unpaid bloggers will not be our future — on several counts. I’m going to check out epic 2015. MC

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