Posts Tagged: Newspapers
8

Vaunted College Newspaper Now More Like Real Newspapers

Nights at the Columbia Daily Spectator were spent in a breathless, tipsy, exhausted, self-important haze. The office, like that of many college newspapers, was a clubhouse run by flighty, inexperienced, earnest kids who were behind on their homework. There was an idea that we should be finished by three a.m. in order to send the paper to the printing press. That was the goal post, anyway. In the meantime, we ate pizza from V&T’s (which we got for free in exchange for a daily ad); drank Blue Moons (which we got for cash); argued, gossiped, and fell in love with one another while we waited for the stories to [...]

16

Killer Cops And Newspaper Wars On The California Coast

"America's largest open-air mental hospital," that's how Oceanside police spokesman Bob George described this run-down coastal city between Camp Pendleton and the surfer towns of North San Diego County. I called it the Slum by the Sea. Despite the miles of beach and the beautiful old Spanish mission and the Southern California weather, Oceanside was a honky tonk Marine Corps town on the west side of Interstate 5 and a sprawling mess of trailer parks and starter-home suburbs to the east.

I spent a lot of time at Bob's desk in the back of the OPD headquarters. Sometimes it was as a police beat reporter, sometimes it was as the [...]

7

"Daily Show" Writer Jason Ross On Writing For Free and Breaking Into Comedy

Since 2002, Jason Ross (@jasonjross on Twitter) has been a writer for "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," where his team has won a half-dozen Emmy Awards for outstanding writing and produced the best-selling America: The Book and Earth: The Book.

Jason Ross: Here I am.

Ken Layne: Hello, sir! I'm in the middle of the greatest consumer survey in human history.

Jason: That is a fairly low bar to clear.

Ken: Disneyland is building Star Wars Land. This will make Disneyland much more tolerable for me:

Which of the following Star Wars locations would you be especially interested in visiting at the Disneyland Resort? [...]

24

We Should Have Killed These Internet Pioneers Back In the 1990s

From time to time, The Awl offers its space to everyday citizens with something to say.

I am a newspaperman. Before my freelancing days, my business card had the name of my paper, and under that it said my own name, and then: "Staff Writer." These days, I'm barely getting by as a freelancer, and my business card has a little graphic of a quill by my name.

I often think about how different the media landscape would be if newspapers had invested in killing off the "Web content" people once they became a clear danger to journalism.

Assassination is a nasty business, and I am against it. Still, you [...]

0

Bay Area Man Keeps Same Media Job For 63 Years

Who says there's no job security in media? Everyone says that, because it's true. But there are inspirational exceptions. Meet 94-year-old San Francisco Chronicle science reporter David Perlman, who cranked out 111 articles last year and continues to work full-time at the paper. He still loves his beat and his desk is in a sunny corner of the Chronicle newsroom, so there's no reason to quit working now.

After all, he said over a burger at a South of Market dive near Chronicle headquarters, "I'm doing exactly what I wanted to do all my life, be a reporter."

He "majored in the Spectator," the Columbia student paper, [...]

15

Are Newspaper People Really Still Wondering If Journalism Can Exist Without Newsprint?

Decades of often awkward interaction with America's "print media" professionals has proven (to me) that writers who talk about their medium are bores, and also bad writers. This goes for the people who type up rules for "curating" the Internet and the people who propose "best practices" for typing bullshit on Twitter, but it's the newspaper person who is most guilty of being terrible all the time. Often applying the term "ink-stained wretch" or "scribe" to himself—and it is always a "him"—the newspaperman looks back on his career (which started when personal computers were already in every grade-school library) and sees not the stories covered or drunken camaraderie of the [...]

9

Paywall Company CEO Trashes Newspaper Clients As His Business Folds

"Ongo," founded in 2009, was going to be the centralized newspaper paywall system. Companies like the Washington Post, the New York Times Company and Gannett poured in a few million dollars to find a solution to delivering ad-free news to people who would pay for it. They launched their product in January of 2011, and at the end of this month, they will close their doors (and, as you do, lay off their employees). Here's the now-former CEO, Dan Haarmann, on his way out the door, talking to Nieman Journalism Lab: “I hate advertising in my news. I cannot stand people trying to send me a mortgage or [...]

1

No, BuzzFeed Did Not Invent Native Advertising

News curmudgeons relish blaming the internet for things they don’t like, a pastime that is maddening, a little sad, and just ironic. These people who fetishize print media's past are often selective in their memories of it.

For instance, BuzzFeed didn't invent coverage of silly animals, and it certainly didn't invent native advertising—that is, advertising with a narrative structure that mirrors surrounding editorial content. (You might also call this “sponsored content" or “advertorial.")

Much of the recent media chatter about native ads makes it sound as though sponsored content was just invented. But what we now call native advertising has deep roots in print journalism—as do [...]

5

The Rise and Fall of the L.A. Examiner, a Blog That Was a Newspaper That Never Existed

My office was the living room closet in a huge one-bedroom in a 1920s East Hollywood apartment court, across the street from the big blue Scientology headquarters in the old Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. There were built-in bookshelves and just enough space for a chair and a laptop and an ashtray. The neighbor lady's rescued pit bulls romped outside in the overgrown garden, and that electric L.A. sunlight came filtered through the grimy old French windows to the hardwood floors. It was a very pleasant place to work, my friends lived within walking distance in other cheap apartments in Los Feliz, and I had a bad case of being in [...]

3

An Internet Tabloid In The Time Of Comets And Mass Suicide

On the night after the Heaven's Gate UFO cultists were discovered dead by mass suicide in a San Diego suburban McMansion, I was standing in a dark patch of the Presidio, watching the Hale-Bopp comet and its forked tail over the Marin Headlands. Someone passed around binoculars, somebody else passed a little pipe around, and after a half hour everyone was cold and bored and we drifted back to the battleship-gray Victorian on Haight Street that I shared with a rotating group of five or six pals.

My bedroom was just a large closet on the upper floor, with enough room for a narrow mattress and a chest [...]

10

I Was A Teenaged Anchorman

It was a supply closet off the main classroom, six feet across, with the only wall decoration being a length of pine board with a row of nails sticking out. Because of the terrible noise inside, the door was always shut. The two machines, industrial-era things that clamored and shook, spewed out a steady stream of hurt and lies and death. On this San Diego afternoon I was in the little room with my coffee, going through the accumulated Associated Press and UPI news that had cranked out of the wire machines during lunch and whatever regular classes I might have attended that day. Local stories, national and international [...]

27

Life After Patch.com: A Newspaper Editor Returns To Newsprint

Patch.com was launched in 2007 when Tim Armstrong, the man who turned Google into an advertising company, noticed his very wealthy Connecticut bedroom community lacked a local paper with an events calendar. When Armstrong became head of AOL in 2009 with the mission of transforming the company from a fading dial-up service to a media brand, he sold Patch to his new employers. There are 850 Patch sites, supposedly hyperlocal news operations run by modestly paid newspaper journalists and supposedly supported by neighborhood advertising.

Because the Internet is mostly a garbage factory and AOL produces a great deal of Internet content, it stands to reason that much of AOL's content [...]

3

The Last Two-Newspaper Town in America Means War

As of today, Philipstown, New York, is a two-newspaper town. Like all such things, it's already gotten ugly: "This week, news of Gordon Stewart’s [new] paper spread around town. On Monday afternoon, he received a phone call from Doug Cunningham, the editor of the Putnam County News and Recorder. 'He was so wound up,' Stewart said. Cunningham wanted to know if there was a liberal conspiracy behind the paper involving the local Democratic politicians, or the Hudson Valley Land Trust, or 'the Facebook guys,' referring to Chris Hughes and his partner Sean Eldridge, who own an estate in the area." Oh Lordy.

22

How To Fix The 'New York Post'

Although I’m huge on newspapers, no New York newspaper seems to fit my demographic: aging socialist who only wants to read the Sports Page and Garfield. I give up on newspapers ruthlessly and as permanently as I can. The Boston Globe and The New York Times were the first to go by the wayside. The Globe because The New York Times destroyed it, and then The Times because of their craven build-up to the Iraq War. That, and all their annoying Brooklyn trend pieces. I read the Boston Herald in Boston, minus the entire front section (except the always-enjoyable “The Inside Track,” because I want to know what Matt [...]

6

How Much Less Money Is The 'New York Times' Really Making Now?

Let's just do facts, right? (Footnoted with sources; otherwise from NYT Co. self-report.)

Total Q1 revenue this year: $475.4 million.

Total Q1 revenue in 2012: $499.4 million.

Total Q1 revenue in 2011: $566.5 million.

Total Q1 revenue in 2010: $587.9 million.

Total Q1 revenue in 2009: $609.0 million.

Total Q1 revenue in 2008: $747.9 million.

Total Q1 revenue in 2007: approx $740 million.*

Total Q1 revenue in 2006: $832 million.*

Total Q1 revenue in 2005: $806 million.*

Total Q1 revenue in 2004: $773.8 million.*

Total Q1 revenue in 2003: $783.7 million.*

1

How To Get Your Readers To Write Your Newspaper For You

An old schoolhouse, two feed stores, an "84 Lumber" yard, the sheriff's substation and a western wear store were the notable tenants on the main street of Lakeside, California. It was just a half-hour's drive from the beaches of San Diego, but it had the dusty half-abandoned look of a Texas panhandle town. The "lake" was a pond in the small park at the end of the road. State Highway 67 ran parallel to the two-block-long downtown, and in a faded Old West-themed plywood strip mall, a lean middle-aged man in a brown corduroy sports coat was behind his desk with his typewriter and a coffee mug full of Bushmill's, [...]

1

Newspapers Maybe Not Much of a Growth Industry

"Employment of full-time professional editorial staff peaked at 56,900 in 1989. By the end of 2011, the last year for which data are available, employment had fallen by 24%, according to the American Society of News Editors. When figures for 2012 are compiled, newsroom workforce will likely be below 40,000." —Of the many bits in this survey of the current American news business—the cable news audience is stalled forever at 1.9 million people! TIME's newsstand sales dropped 27% in a year!—the 24% drop in newspaper editorial employees is the most instructive for those of you young people thinking about a major. (Journalism is always a terrible major.)

7

How To Fail At Journalism In Exotic Foreign Lands

Budapest had never been my favorite European capital, but a job in a foreign city is always better than a job wherever I happen to be living at the moment. This is why, on a balmy Southern California morning in February of 1996, I voluntarily carried my only possessions to Los Angeles International Airport's Tom Bradley terminal the customary three hours prior to departure. The first two hours passed pleasantly at the airport lounge, where my friend Steve and I drank double Greyhounds served in pint glasses.

The Double Greyhound is just a lot of vodka with grapefruit juice to soften the blow. We had been drinking these regularly in [...]

14

What Became Of San Diego's Newspaper

The dystopian author Mike Davis once wrote that San Diego—the city where I live, 100 condo-packed miles south of Los Angeles—is "arguably the nation's capital of white collar crime." In fact, Davis devoted a book to the claim, Under the Perfect Sun, whose thesis underscores the old adage that "San Diego is a sunny place where lots of shady people go." Davis describes a history of graft and deception in which the city's business monopolists mingled with landowners and indentured politicians to create a Petri dish for "dynamic, even visionary, self-interest." Though such revelations have been reported on for decades, this view of the city's seedy past is a narrative [...]

5

Bunch of Newspapers About to Needlessly Hit the Skids

This time it's Newhouse/Advance's turn to destroy a newspaper: the New Orleans Times-Picayune, to be specific, which will fire a bunch of people, stop publishing daily and generally be suckier. (Also: "a new company, NOLA Media Group, will run the newspaper and its website, and another new company will print and deliver the paper." Innnntriguing.) Enjoy your new life blogging on this hot mess! Your move, McClatchy! Oh wait, Jake Gyllenhaal's uncle has got the destruction covered, okay, great. The whole thing about corporate reorganizing is most interesting: "Tribune and Advance are creating subsidiary companies for their newspapers." Hey, that's what I would do if [...]