Archive for June 11th, 2009

What if the cyclical part of the advertising collapse does not come back after the end of the cycle?

Lad Paul, an old friend and colleague from the Des Moines Register who recently retired as executive editor of the New York Times News Service and is now consulting, asked that question recently on my Facebook page.  I asked Lad if I could share his question and my answer on the blog (with some minor editing, mostly to remove personal remarks we exchanged, and with some elaboration because I’ve thought more about it as I’m writing this) and he agreed. He had been making his way through my Blueprint for the Complete Community Connection and these questions kept nagging him:

What if advertisers have discovered that they don’t need middle men like our newspapers to find their customers? What is to stop them from taking the money that in the old world would have been their advertising budgets and spending it instead on developing fancy Web storefronts, and then letting the customers find them and their products via search? (more…)


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Balancing community involvement with journalistic detachment is a continuing challenge for many journalists.

If you become too involved with community affairs, you can’t write about them credibly. And if you are too detached from the community, you are less likely to know what’s going on and to understand context. The balance can be especially challenging in small towns, where the pressure to become involved and the visibility of involvement may be greater. I wrote about this challenge last month, responding to a question that a friend had passed along to me.

At the time, I invited some colleagues who have taught and written about journalism ethics to respond to the same question. Newspaper consultant Jim Pumarlo, former editor of the Red Wing Republican Eagle in Minnesota, responded. Jim is the author of Bad News and Good Judgment: A Guide to Reporting on Sensitive Issues in a Small-Town Newspaper and Votes and Quotes: A Guide to Outstanding Election Campaign Coverage. Here is Jim’s response, followed by some further thoughts of mine: (more…)

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