T Nation

The State of Media Journalism


FCC Commissioner Circulates Document on â??The State of Media Journalismâ??
Thursday, July 09, 2009
By Matt Cover

Federal Communications Commission seal (CNSNews.com) â?? Michael Copps, a commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission and its former acting chairman, has circulated an internal report examining the state of media journalism in America and discussing ways to address issues such as the rise of media conglomerates and the prevalence of opinion journalism.


As I read through this I couldn't help but as myself why the federal gov't is even involved in this stuff. We need the federal gov't to support dying media outlets and tell us what good journalism is?

I about lost my wig when I read "behavioral rules" for broadcasters or media outlets. Everything after this in the article had me saying "what the fuck" outloud. Anyone know where this Copps guy lives? I would like to whack him over the head with a granite reproduction of the constitution.


The constitution he says HAHAHAHAHA!!!!


Absolutely agree.

However, the government may one day have to support newspapers or the like in one way or another. They are absolutely essential, and the cuts that the... "Higher Ups"... have been making are crippling the industry.

And I find it hard to believe that anyone in the government truly wants investigative journalism to thrive.


And by the way, for all the retards who commented after the article about newspapers not having circulation numbers, they need to understand that most of the money comes from advertising, not their 50 fuckin cents.

The advertising dollars aren't there, and that's what's really hurting the profits.


I'm confused, don't advertising dollars depend on circulation numbers?


Stop using logic. You'll confuse him.


What is essential is that citizens have access to information - government doesn't have to make sure that certain organs deliver it.

If a newspaper's circulation is low, it could be a number of factors - the least of which is the availability of free news online. But a larger factor in teh "crippling of the industry" is the loss of Public Trust - and if a newspaper begins to lose the trust placed in it by the public, it deserves its fate, even death.

Governments don't need to support newspapers that the public has turned its back on, and it would be counterproductive anyway - government support would be a further stain on the company's integrity because of the inevitable assumption that the government is favoring that company for political reasons.


And vice versa.


Go fuck yourself Dick. Talk about shit you know (you know, like... I don't know, maybe football) and leave the rest alone.

And not particularly. When advertisers can advertise online for way cheaper, they don't have to bother as much. A big section of lost revenue is from the classified ads... everyone knows that the way to get a job is Monster.com now, not so much the local paper.

The biggest papers in the state still have a circulation of 500,000, but that sure as shit isn't bringing in the advertisements. They need to find another way of sustaining revenue... which had better mean "Charging for shit on the internet."


OK. So who's going to provide it?

Nah, it's not that. I know that's what you crybaby GOP hacks like to bitch about, the liberal media and all that, but that ain't it. It's as I said before- a mixture of shitty advertising numbers mixed with massive cuts caused by inept leadership.

While normally I might agree that businesses that suck should fail, newspapers serve an incredibly important function in this society. Losing them would mean free for all for the government that you all hate so much.

I'm not saying to subsidize them. But possibly allow them to apply for nonprofit status or something like that.

I don't want it to get to that point, believe me, and I think this could easily be cured if certain folks in seats of massive power in the industry would wake the fuck up.


good one. what are you 12?

You must be in advertising? Please tell us how much cheaper it is to advertise on the internet than in a paper.

Maybe you should consult the million idiots that send me a pound of junk mail a day. Print advertising is so '90s. These people obviously don't care about throwing their advertising dollars away.

Hmm...let's see who's in there today. US Bank, BMW, Target, Walmart, Some dentist in Waconia I have never been to, Chemlawn, Cabelas, LL Bean, American Express, NRA, ooo..my regan ranch calendar. Not going to send you any money but thanks for the calendar. They probably should have just offered me an internet calendar. Don't these people know they are just throwing their money away and would be much better off with extremely cheap internet advertising? fools.

There you have it. Advertising leaving has nothing to do with poor circulation of the advertising medium. What a genius. You should run a paper. Try the New York Times first.


Who provides you with food, clothing, cars (threw that one in to be funny), anal beads, etc. I mean the gov't may provide your welfare check but eventually you cash that in to get thousands of items not provided by them. I guessing most things you consume outside of cheese.

This is a stupid question. Are you looking for someone to list all the sources and possible sources of news? Come on now.

Ahhhh...there it is. I was starting to worry.

yep. in every case. We already established that you are marketing genius. After you get done with their marketing and advertising groups, you can staighten out the rest of the executive staff. If they could just manage the paper better it really doesn't matter what they put in it. people no longer care about the quality of the news. it must be shear luck that one new sourse can do better than the others. Maybe it's just the hot babes on Fox that get ratings dwarfing other soursed in its segment.

Please. There are more media sourses now than there ever have been in the history of the world. The gov't didn't need to save the town crier and it doesn't need to save any other specific form of news. What good is it to save it when less and less people are reading it?

I see you have thought through this part as well. If they wanted to be non-profit they could be. Maybe the "or something like that" would be a better option for them?


Stick to politics, because your sense of humor is pathetic.

Anyway, I don't mean news like you're thinking. There will always be the AP and Reuters to cover the issues in Iran, Obama and whatever President, the economy, etc.

But when it comes to your state, who puts that on TV? The local news here on ABC covers housefires in Brooklyn and missing babies. What they don't cover is... well, the important shit. City ordinances, ongoing political battles, the local councils, ongoing town issues, etc.

As far as I know, there isn't one credible source that covers things like this... except the newspaper. The bloggers sit around in their underwear, scratching their balls and giving opinions on stories that we write (and oftentimes bitch that, of course, we didn't do it right. But then they work at wal-mart.) Then, they link to our stories. They don't show up at council meetings, they don't put in OPRA requests to get information, and they don't spend the majority of their lives covering politics.

If the papers aren't around, no one will watch politicians except for the three old men that attend the council meetings... and even when they do bring up a good point, no one will be there to let others know about it. You will let politicians operate with impunity.

Again, it's the news that they don't cover that you won't see. You cannot depend on TV to cover all the news in your area. I live in the NY area, and they barely even mention the City Council. It's not that one source does it better than another- it's that one does cover things outside of Obama and Congress and the others don't.


I'm not saying that no one advertises anymore, but that there are not nearly as many. Pick up your hokey newspaper on Sunday in Minnesota and tell me that it's anywhere near as heavy as it was ten years ago.

That's where the gap is.

Advertising leaving is cutting into profits, and bad business choices and a refusal to look forward are leading to massive buyouts, which means the quality of the paper drops. It is not, as you crybaby bitches would like to think, that people turned their back on them because they're "too liberal."


So the fed should prop up city news papers?

Interenet sites? Email lists? I receive several emails a day with important stories. Some of them may be covered by the local newpaper staff, some by the TV stations even if they don't get aired, some by niether.

If people are intested in this type of journalism, it will be available. Supply and demand. If there is no demand, why would the fed force supply? We have two primary papers here. One of them is not doing that bad. Wonder why? Luck or better product. We also have local papers in most small towns that seem to be doing fine. These also address local issues.

The liberal news print isn't offering us anything we need. Individuals can now use the internet to do much of the investigation on their own if they are so inclined. Real time information for those that would rather not be spoon fed information liberal hacks deam important.

Whatever. Nobody cares about this stuff anymore, and the ones that do don't trust those doing the watching. Liberal print media will always struggle becuase liberals don't read. All they need are platitudes and rhetoric they can get from 30sec sound bits on TV. Book after book from conservatives hit the best seller list while most liberal books flounder. Why would anyone expect news papers to be any different?

Ahhh...so. If people aren't reading the newspaper, what good is it? You can bitch all day long about how sources that people actually consume don't offer real news, but maybe that's why they consume them?

Your assertion that poor circulation is not the demise of the news paper is the assertion that is most comical and started this whole conversation. Do you not want to address that?


One of them is. Funny how it's the one with better circulation.

Yeah, and circulation determines advertising effectiveness. What the fuck dude?

Why does a buyout mean quality goes down?

Ok..i gotcha.

Quality of a particular media sourse has nothing to do with consumption rates of that media.

Advertising dollars in a particular media have nothing to do with consumption rates of that media.

I think we're good.



I am sure people don't care who they get their news from.

The fact that the political make-up of a certain media doesn't match that of the consumer has nothing to do with consumption.

I am sure you watch just as much Fox as you do NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN etc.


I don't know. I don't want it to get to that point. As far as I'm concerned, politics and journalism are diametrically opposed in their aims and goals. The idea of government supporting a newspaper is very ironic, and I don't think it would lead to good things.

But newspapers also cannot disapear. So I don't know.

Where do they get the news from? Your intenet sites and email lists link to articles printed in one newspaper or another. Reporters do the reseach and talk with the politicians, and call up the gov't agencies and get the facts (or they're supposed to, at least).

No one will do this shit for free.

Local papers should keep at least staying steady. The only problem is that they don't have the capabilities or the staff to do investigative journalism on the level of a Star-Ledger or Washington Post.

We have two primary papers here- one of them nearly shut down last year, the other one is in dire straits as well. Many large, flagship papers are getting killed.

More bullshit about evil liberal media. Whatever. But the average person will not do the investigating that a reporter will. They won't have the connections to get anywhere, and won't spend their own money when they get stonewalled out of a town. And when they get sued once for something stupid, that will be the end of it. The "citizen-journalist is a myth.

Blatant crap. Liberals don't read, and people don't care about the corruption of local officials on the state level? Garbage. Completely inaccurate and spoken from the mouth of a bullshitter.

People are reading the newspaper dipshit. But they're reading it from sources that don't charge, and that puts newspapers down. But along with the regular articles from the AP, you will lose everything else that goes in. Maybe that doesn't bother you. Bothers me.

No, I said that low advertising numbers are hurting the profit. Never did I say that lower circulation wasn't hurting them- I said most of the money did not come directly from people buying the paper. And I was refuting the fact that it's the liberal bullshit that drove people away- it was free news online combined with cheaper advertising online that has brought people away from buying them. So papers are losing money on both fronts, although the circulation makes up a lot less of that chunk.

You may be looking at "demise" differntly than I- you're saying financially, but when I hear the demise of the newspaper I think of it more in the way of integrity of reporting and journalism.


I didn't say that it didn't. I was addressing a different point- the misconception that people have that the money they pay directly for the paper is where teh majority of the paper's profits come from. That was it.

Because in their neverending zeal to save money, they are offering buyouts to the higher paid, more experienced reporters who the connections, and making the younger, less experienced reporters with no connections do more work for shitty pay.

Many papers no longer have, say, a city court reporter. That means they're guaranteed to miss stories that otherwise the paper would have caught, because the reporters cover too broad of a topic now and there's only so many stories you can write.

When you're a reporter, you're only as good as your sources. And without covering a beat for a longer period of time, you're not going to make those connections, which means teh story suffers massively.

Most newspapers are cut back so badly that they are a shell of their former selves... the Baltimore Sun, for example, has something like 200 less reporters and editors then they had ten years or so ago. This is not good.

"Quality" is a subjective term. You think it's crappy because you're a right wing fringe lunatic. That doesn't mean that everyone thinks its crappy, not by a long shot.


This is what you said:

sound familiar? retards who comment on circulations numbers understand advertising money is directly related to circulation numbers.

No shit sherlock. we are not talking about why the right wing fringe is not buying liberal news papers. They never have. The problem is the general public is finding the print media available less and less attractive.

If you think this has nothing to do with political views of the country as a whole being different than that of the media outlets seeing a decline in consumption of their product, than you are an idiot. I don't know how else to help you.