Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekend read: Journalism, economy better or worse?

(via Flickr: jj_pappas423)
Items you don't want to have missed:

"The State of the News Media 2011" (Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism): In its latest findings on the news industry, Pew says things are looking up a bit: revenue is recovering somewhat and layoffs have lessened. But Pew detects "a more fundamental challenge to journalism": that with each iteration of technology, "a new layer of complexity" is added that moves the industry farther from controlling its own destiny and shifts revenue to others.

"Newspaper Ad Sales Hit 25-Year Low in 2010" (Reflections of a Newsosaur): Alan Mutter continues to track the unraveling of the traditional revenue model at newspapers. Last year, he says, ad sales hit a total reminiscent of 1985; what's more, that number was down by half from the all-time high seen just five years ago. The bright spot: 2010's drop was "the least worse" decline in the five-year period.

Musical interlude: A theme song, perhaps, for publishers and their revenue goals.

"What James O'Keefe Knows about Media (and You Should Too)" (Poynter): Poynter's Steve Myers takes a look at what he calls the "entrapment journalism" of James O'Keefe -- using reductio ad absurdum to catch institutions (Planned Parenthood, ACORN, NPR) in uncompromising positions. "Whatever we call this surreptitiously recorded audio and video," says Myers, "...[w]e should think about what this work is, where it fits in the media landscape, and why it gets attention."

Video interlude -- if you have an hour and a half to kill in the name of long-form journalism.

"The Forgotten Millions" (New York Times): "Why doesn't Washington care?" asks op-ed writer Paul Krugman as he runs the numbers on the long-term unemployed. Lawmakers seem more interested in cutting the deficit than in helping Americans get back work, he says, partly because the economy now is "suffering from low hiring, not high firing."

But here's a tale from one of the "forgotten millions" that Congress should listen to, as chronicled on the website Over 50 and Out of Work:

Elizabeth Zima from Over Fifty and Out of Work on Vimeo.

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