December 17, 2003

Off to Oaxaca: Feliz Navidad!

I am off to Oaxaca, Mexico, for a couple of weeks to celebrate the holidays with friends and family -- and far from phone and Internet. Feliz Navidad y un prospero año nuevo a todos! See you in January.

 Read about my house here.
 See my pictures of Oaxaca here.

This is a good opportunity for you to catch up on some of the Best of First Draft:

 The Quality Manifesto: What started it all.

 Journalists Overpaid? Nonsense: There are many reasons newsrooms have disconnected from the communities they cover, but overly fat paychecks is not one of them.

 No More Whining: He's wrong that penurious publishers are to blame for readership woes.

 Eliminating the Bimbo Factor: I practiced journalism, but I knew almost nothing about it - although I thought I did.

 Would You Pay a Nickel to Read This?: In the world of online newspapers (and other media), the debate over whether to charge for content (more revenue) or not (more readers) draws well-reasoned and emotional commentary from both sides.

 Newspapers Disrupted: "When you realize this newfangled thing is stealing your business, and you aren't sure how to get it back."

 How Journalism Went Bad: Reading writer Michael D'Antonio's thoughtful essay on the demise of traditional journalism (print and broadcast) in the L.A. Times reminded me of the Woody Allen line about death: "It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens."

 Time for a Leadership Tuneup: Newspapers are like cars. They are complex machines that require regular maintenance, occasional new parts and a certain amount of high-speed driving to keep the grit and road grime from dulling their engines.

 There's Nothing Left but the Journalism: Quality sells. Relevance matters. The real lesson both the newsroom and the boardroom need to learn is that, in the age of the 24-hour scroll, the micro-fragmentation of electronic media, and the constant clamor for a news consumer's attention by everyone from the New York Times to yours truly, all that's left is the journalism.

 The Journalism of Complacency: Tim Rutten, who was completely wrong about Daniel Okrent (see my comments here and here), noses about for the roots of journalistic evil and finds it to be money - that is, the relative affluence of reporters and editors, at least those in larger news organizations. He's half-wrong again - but inadvertently landed on a point worth making.

Posted by Tim Porter at December 17, 2003 04:27 PM

Tim - Here's a perfect example of what I was talking about Sat. Here a close adviser to the President (Grover Norquist) says an incredibly stupid and hateful thing on the radio about the Estate Tax being like the Holocaust, and with the exception of one opinion piece in the WaPo there isn't any pick up of this story by the political press...

The WaPo opinion piece is here

It would seem to me that having close advisers of our president espouse these sentiments WOULD actually qualify as real political news... Right now it seems relegated to the blogsphere

Also check out DailyKos... you might particularly be interested in the structure of his blog as it encourages a high degree of discussion and involvement through the diary function...


Posted by: mark langner on January 12, 2004 09:34 AM
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