The Long View of Media

Listening to a conversation between Jon Taplin and Peter Chermin and Gordon Crawford. Crawford lashes out at newspapers (index 33:40):

“Newpapers are so dead. Aside from the Wall Street Journal and stuff. Honestly just think about the concept of a newspaper. You cut down a bunch of trees, you boil them, you make paper out of them. In the old days oyou used to have lead movable type, and a bunch of ink and a unionized shop printing them out. Then you get a bunch of trucks and you drive around the neighborhood and you throw them onto somebody’s driveway, you throw onto somebody’s driveway yesterday’s news. That’s what we’re trying to defend.”

It’s a cheap shot but the group offers some great high level business perspectives on the media industry in music, film and news with a final word of advice to young people starting out in the business. Summary: media is changing, nobody knows how to pay for it.

Update: I had already made a circumstantial argument why I don’t read newspapers anymore but now I’m also beginning to doubt entire quality argument. Newspapers are always paraded as bastions of objectivity and quality, but I don’t think this has ever really been the case1. The only difference is that for most of history we did not have an alternative. The recent financial crisis has only served to punctuate the lack of quality and in depth analysis.
I see room (and necessity) for one quality newspaper in the Netherlands similar to the Guardian in the UK but I don’t know who’s going to bring it. To even make an attempt, all the current newspapers need to significantly up their game, the current standard is just not good enough2.

  1. I don’t even know what is sadder: the lack of quality in Dutch newspapers or the self-professed intellectuals who thump their chests in adherence to this medium.
  2. Comments in Dutch to that effect: 1, 2.

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