Posts Tagged: The New Old Media

Will The Real Zodiac Killer Please Stand Up?

On Wednesday, the identity of the Zodiac Killer was finally revealed: It was Louis Myers, only 17 when he began the killings, who confessed from his deathbed back in 2001. In 2012, the identity of the Zodiac Killer was finally revealed: It was George Russell Tucker, a pseudonym for a then-recently-diseased 91-year-old former real estate salesman from Fairfield, California. In 2009, the identity of the Zodiac Killer was finally revealed: It was Guy Ward Hendrickson, a carpenter who brought his 7-year-old along for the ride during the killings.

It's worth pointing out that last year, Dick Van Dyke also confessed.

Every cycle through the calendar brings [...]

1 Then, Now

12:02 a.m., January 28, 2014

11:31 p.m., June 2, 2001


Rich Lady Blabs To Media, Everyone Scandalized (1886 Edition)

Sometimes young people get in trouble for talking to the trashy media, or for writing first-person essays. Then everyone gets all upset and exercised. So it is, so it has been for some time. Ask May Marcy McClellan, who scandalized Europe by talking smack about the Italians—and became the launching-off point for a Henry James novel.


Flashback, 2011: Newsstand and the Ipad Are "A New Dawn for Publishers"

"Apple’s Newsstand launched with the release of iOS 5 on October 12th, and by any measure, it appears to be a big win for Apple and for publishers alike. Since the iPad took the technology world by storm 18 months ago, it’s been an interesting time for publishers with several notable App Store rejections, industry confusion about how to implement tablet subscriptions, and a fair amount of criticism of Apple’s 30% revenue share. It appears now that Newsstand is the real deal, delivering on the iPad’s promise of a new dawn for publishers. Huzzah!"

That was from November 29th, 2011, just over a year ago, and it came with the [...]


Tomorrow's Right Wing "Obama Oral Sex Joke" Talking Point Today

While you were happily sleeping, someone tried to make the case that your drone-loving terror President made an oral sex joke at a gay fundraiser. The lone reporter there reports it like this: "He warmed up with some jokes about the first lady’s appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show. 'Michelle outdoes me in pushups as well,' he said, after saying that she’s taken some criticism on her technique 'because she doesn’t go all the way down.'"

Yeah, have you met Michelle Obama? You think she would be the kind of person who was never clear on how she would take her husband making a blowjob joke in public? [...]


Mr. Swift's Moronic Proposal: Ebooks Will Keep Writers From Writing!

It's a generally accepted rule that you shouldn't take too seriously anything an author says while promoting his book on the radio. Or at least I thought it was a generally accepted rule. Certainly, Christopher Buckley tells a great anecdote about the time he was asked by a radio host whether, per the author bio on his novel Little Green Men, he really had acted as policy advisor to William Howard Taft. Not only did Buckley happily confirm that he had advised President Taft, but he spent the remainder of the interview discussing the specific advice he'd imparted to the (very) late statesman. Of course Buckley said something ridiculous [...]


Bubbles, Crashes and Burns: 15 Lessons from 10 Years Ago, launched May, 2000, was owned by Powerful Media, whose backers (to a total tune of $35 million) included Flatiron Partners and Chase Capital Partners. The biweekly print version launched in December, 2000. Then a series of complicated things happened: Steve Brill bought it, for, in part, maybe $8 million in cash. Brill made a marriage to Primedia; six months later, that partnership "unwound." Soon enough: donezo. That's the short version; try the long one. But just like the xoJane launch party last week, Courtney Love also attended the launch party! If those eyes could talk!

Here are some of our favorite headlines from the glory [...]


Indisputable Evidence That Spiders Have It Worse Than Any Generation in 50 Years

A generation of spiders is entering the world and the workforce unprepared. What do we do about the spiders?

• More so than previous generations, spiders incubated in beauty and comfort and spaciousness unknown to their parents at that age. Word that 6 million spiders are not working or studying comes as no surprise to anyone with a spider in the basement.

The spiders are suffering a Jimmy Carter-style malaise. It is understandable.

• Many spiders told us that they often worried about being able to pay for dates, while others were still trying to figure out whether they'd [...]


No Axe-Grinders Need Apply: The Legacy of George Plimpton

Although no one currently on staff at The Paris Review ever worked directly with George Plimpton, the legacy of the editor of 50 years obviously looms large over the publication. Coincident with the 60th anniversary of the magazine is the release of the documentary Plimpton!: Starring George Plimpton As Himself. The cover of the Spring 2013 issue of The Paris Review was a photograph of a poster made by the French artist JR—Unframed: George Plimpton, 1967, from a photograph by Henry Grossman—designed to look like a cover (the Spring 2013 cover, in fact) of The Paris Review pasted on a wall in Paris.

There are as many layers in [...]


When Is A Media Model A Revolution, And When Is It A Unicorn?

I stepped in it earlier this week when, as I was trying to say something about the economics of media, I mischaracterized NSFWCORP’s business. Paul Carr, their CEO, replied, I apologized to Carr in the comments, he accepted that apology, and, mercenary bastard that he is, even found a way to extract reparations, via the Conflict Tower, which turns conflict-of-interest reporting into a revenue stream.

So, with that all settled and a parade of rainbow-flavored unicorns once again frolicking in the dells of New Media Land, let me take another stab at what I wanted to say about the media business and what we can—and [...]


One Town, Two Newspapers: Will the Real Digital Innovators Please Stand Up?

Another day, another newspaper bankruptcy. This time it was the Journal Register national chain, home to eighteen small dailies including the New Haven Register, and now operating under the seemingly sexier-sounding name of Digital First Media. That rechristening had been trumpeted as more than mere window-dressing—Digital First Media’s senior executives publicly embraced the Internet as the future of journalism, boasting of not only their "digital DNA," but also their determination to “stop listening to newspaper people” and their stuck-in-the-past, ink-stained thinking. Don’t panic over vanishing print ad revenue, Digital First chief executive John Paton insisted last September: If you stack them high enough, “Digital dimes can replace Print [...]


New Media As Petty As Old Media

That Buzzfeed's Ben Smith can't use his own name at his new job, due to his "exit agreement" with his last employer, Politico, is hysterical. Get a grip! Also making the rounds: digital media jobs in "journalism" that require a drug test. How crazy are these people? (But yes, if you want to work at Gannett or NBC or what have you, be prepared to be degraded and give up your rights.) Drug-testing is maybe—maybe!—for people who operate forklifts or drive trucks, so they don't kill us all while baked. Even then, though…. Well, drug-testing is a real bad look for organizations that want independent, American-minded employees. Anyway, [...]


15 Facts About Our Shrinking News Media

Yesterday the FCC issued a report saying that, despite that Internet thing with all those “websites,” there's less news being created at the local level. But you already knew that, right? (The report was also supposed to give recommendations for righting the trend, but it didn’t really.)

So just how bad is it? Let’s take a look at some of the numbers contained in that 470-plus-page—1.8 inches-thick—study on shrinkage.

"It has been tempting to think that Americans are paying less for content." But in 2003, people spent on average $740 a year to consume media and information—on cable and Internet service bills, for print, and on [...]


'Death': A Magazine, Issue #2, Out Now

Issue #2 of Death, the magazine, is out.


An Oral History Of Gawker, By Reddit

When the history of the web is written, the final word will obviously belong to Reddit. What else will be left?

And: what will we remember of a network of blogs called "Gawker Media"? Here is the collected wisdom on the topic of Gawker from Reddit over the years, in the words of Redditors themselves.


Do you guys even remember how Gawker got started? The original website was called gawker stalker and it was supposed to be a TMZ type of site that would provide the location and info of celebrities in NYC. The foundation of the brand was started by a celebrity stalker.


Everyone Secretly Hates "Snow Fall"

Cody Brown, of Scrollkit, made a replica of the ballyhooed New York Times "Snow Fall" story—in about an hour. Naturally, the Times made a copyright complaint: he was, after all, using their images and whatnot! So he removed it. Then they insisted that he "remove any reference to the New York Times" from his website. Heh.

He writes: The backlash to “Snow Fall” is that it’s an indulgence only the Times can afford. It took them six months and a powerful multi-person dev team to hand-code it. Most news orgs don’t have anywhere near these kinds of resources, and this is why we’ve spent the past year [...]


How Much Do BuzzFeed, Gawker and Business Insider Staff Tweet About Work?

Is Twitter your job? We have maintained in the past that it is not. A year later, we think that more and more media employees are engaged in the practice of using their Twitter accounts to promote not just their work, but their workplaces. That's true even with the transition of Jim Roberts from @NYTJim to @NYCJim, as he left the New York Times to become the executive editor of Reuters Digital. (His Twitter is still chock-full of Times links, though!)

How much Twitter work is working? We looked at a work-week's worth of tweets at three publications: BuzzFeed, Gawker and Business Insider. Just how often were [...]


Please, Please Do Litigate "Voter Fraud" Investigations in Your Paper

Probing the election fraud gospel according to True the Vote, in today's NYT. Good read:

— Sam Sifton (@SamSifton) September 17, 2012

And from the Times public editor this weekend:

The national editor, Sam Sifton, rejected the argument. “There’s a lot of reasonable disagreement on both sides,” he said. One side says there’s not significant voter fraud; the other side says there’s not significant voter suppression. “It’s not our job to litigate it in the paper,” Mr. Sifton said. “We need to state what each side says.”

Reading the very good voter fraud story, which hews closely to facts, instead of "teaching [...]


Who Got Rich From Strangling Newspapers?

"Gannett is not the only big media enterprise where the consequences of bad decisions land on everyone except those who made them. The Tribune Company, a chain of newspapers and television stations run into the ground by Sam Zell after he bought it in 2007, is paying out tens of millions of dollars in bonuses as part of a deal in which it would exit bankruptcy. Over 4,000 people in the company lost their jobs, and the journalistic missions of formerly robust newspapers it operates — including The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun — have been curtailed. And even though Randy Michaels and some [...]


Experts Agree: Everything is Just Great in the Media Now!

Today's panel at NYU, "The Future of Media: 2011"—did you somehow miss it?—wasn't about the Times versus the big aggregating websites, or how the newspaper is dying—that's old news. The panel was more like a celebration of a year of successes and acquisitions. Everyone expressed that they were very happy. And actually, each participant was someone who was involved in a (at least mostly) successful, or at least intriguing, part of the world of publishing words.