Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Detroit News and The Free Press

The Detroit area has had two newspapers for many years. Up until around 20 years ago the papers had very different editorial positions with the Free Press being liberal and supporting the Democrats while the News was quite conservative and tended to support the Republicans. It was often a bit entertaining to read both editorials and compare them, but it was good because you could get both sides of the story.

Of course there are those who believe that is only one valid side to political discussion. (While technically there are people on both sides who believe that the other side has no valid beliefs, those who believe that only the left is valid are overwhelmingly present in the MSM, though fortunately their control is not absolute.) Normal Lear, best known for All in the Family but also the founder of People for the American Way clearly believes that the right needs to shut up and go away. He started a takeover attempt of the News because he was disturbed by its editorial policies. There was a rescue purchase and the new owners, Gannett, while still keeping the editorial policies a bit to the right, were not as conservative as the previous owners. The humorous bashing and counter-bashing of each others' editorial boards was gone.

Still things go forward and the News and the Free Press now operate on a Joint Operating Agreement where they combine some of their operations in order to cut costs and it has been largely successful.

But not successful enough.

Now they are cutting back on home delivery to 4 days a week. They are doing it because sales are way down.

There is another reason.

The Internet. Print journalism needs to find a way to survive in the new media and so far, success has been limited.


Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

There's an even more salient set of reasons: lies, lack of veracity, lack of ethics, biased reporting.

And people know it.


6:20 PM  
Blogger dons_mind said...

yeah i heard about the detroit papers on the news - - kind of a shame - - even though i'm an internet news junkie, i still enjoy thumbing through our local paper each day.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

The News has the best Sports section of any paper I've read, would be sad to see that go.

11:36 PM  
Blogger christian soldier said...

The two Detroit papers are going the way of the NYT-LA Times-LA Daily News--Dinosaurs anyone?!--Now-if we can get rid of the rest of the MSM-I'll be happy :-)

12:10 AM  
Blogger NEO, SOC said...

As an IT person, I love the convenience of the internet. But, I do miss the nostalgia of picking up a paper and reading it. Thanks shoprat for the post, I will go pick one up now.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Ducky's here said...

This is just more of the manifestation of journalism moving toward entertainment.

Information will become enclaves of tightly focused groups and the national dialog will become even more watered down.

What is being missed here is that the newspapers are in financial distress regardless of distribution medium.

I was sad to see the Christian Science Monitor stop its hard copy production recently. I always enjoyed picking up a copy at a newsstand (endangered species) when I had my morning coffee some days at a local Dunko's.

There are even rumors that the Out of Town News kiosk in Harvard Square will close. Kinda sad.

We are losing more than we realize as we are further robotisized.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Gads! I agree with Ducky! LOL! We ae losing much to technology, but I wonder if - the way most papers have been reporting their opinions more than they have the news, it is such a loss after all. I have quit reading newspapers. I don't trust any of them any more. That says a lot, doesn't it?

11:35 AM  
Blogger Ducky's here said...

Well Gayle I'd say it comes down to two media.

Talk radio which the right owns and the Internet which the left has colonized.

Never the twain shall meet and good reportage is long gone anyway since the New York Times Judith Miller threw in with Ahmed Chalabi and lied us into the Iraq disaster.
I wonder how dysfunctional it would be if it got more conservative.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Call me old-fashioned, but I want my local newspaper(s) in my hands, in a print edition.

A few years back, we lost one of our local newspapers here -- the Journal. I miss that paper, as it had editions for different counties in Northern Virginia. The WaPo publishes specific-county news only one day a week, and that one-day coverage is quite superficial.

3:49 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

I used to buy The Detroit News as I went to work in the morning and read it during my breaks. It kept me up on the news. I will miss it.

10:02 PM  

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