Friday, May 25, 2012
Corpse flower beginning to bloom
New Orleans, newspapers and the beginning of the end
Newspapers like the New York Times may be piling up revenue from their paywalls, and Warren Buffett may be asserting his undying commitment to the small-town publications he has just acquired, but there continue to be signs that the printing of news on dead trees does not have a great and glorious future — and the latest is the news from Advance Publications that its New Orleans newspaper, the Times-Picayune, will no longer be printed daily. As painful as that decision likely is for the paper and many of its staff, not to mention its print readers, the Times-Picayune is grappling with a reality that almost every newspaper will have to face sooner or later, whether they want to or not.
David Carr of the New York Times broke the news that the paper was considering such a move on Wednesday, and his report was later confirmed by Advance, which said that it was forming a new company to manage both the newspaper and the New Orleans news website NOLA.com and would be letting go an unspecified number of staff, including several senior editors at the Times-Picayune. Instead of being printed daily, the newspaper will now only be available on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Who will be the next one to stop publishing daily?
The Times-Picayune isn’t the only newspaper that is making these moves: Advance announced that three of its papers in Alabama will also be moving to a three-day printing schedule instead of being daily, and another paper owned by the company — the Ann Arbor News in Michigan — stopped printing daily in 2009, dropping to just Thursdays and Sundays. But as Carr notes, the change in New Orleans makes that city one of the largest and most significant American centers to be without a daily printed newspaper, and it raises a question that is probably in the back of every newspaper publisher’s mind: who is going to be next? As journalism professor Jay Rosen put it recently:
Printing itself remains important, and a revenue generator. But the newspaper company that is still organized around that act of production is the company whose stock you should short.
Billionaire Warren Buffett has gotten a lot of attention for buying Media General and its 63 publications in a $143-million deal, as though that somehow ensures a bright future for newspapers. But while Buffett says he is committed to the kind of community journalism that the small papers he is purchasing are theoretically known for, he is a businessman first and a newspaper-lover second — and he didn’t say anything about loving print. I don’t think the Berkshire Hathaway billionaire would hesitate for a second to make exactly the kind of moves that the Newhouse family and Advance Publications are making, or even to shut down the printing presses altogether if necessary.
As Hamilton Nolan notes at Gawker, printing news on dead trees doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense when you look at it rationally — at least, not as a way of delivering breaking news or real-time journalism or anything that would benefit from links, video, etc. Will people still read printed newspapers? Of course they will, in the same way that people still go to the theater or listen to the radio. But those industries are no longer the media powerhouses that they used to be, because the majority of their audience has moved elsewhere — and so have advertisers. And that is the printed newspaper conundrum in a nutshell.
A painful transformation that more will face
These financial pressures have led to what Ken Doctor calls a “forced march” towards printing fewer papers, and it is one that has created a hue and cry in the case of the Times-Picayune, in part because of that city’s history: the disastrous floods of 2005, and the havoc they wreaked on New Orleans, is something the region still hasn’t recovered from. The newspaper heroically continued to publish during the disaster — online at least — and became a lifeline for many, although its subscription levels have declined dramatically since. And this is why some are criticizing Advance and its decision so heavily, including one impassioned open letter that says:
Journalists risked their lives for the city they loved and justly received international recognition for their hard work. It was one the finest moments for your media empire. But you are about to turn that victory into a sad defeat. All of that hard work and recognition is going to be flushed away if the daily paper ceases operations.
Is that really true though? Perhaps the audience for the Times-Picayune‘s news will have to adjust, but if anything the example that it provided when it couldn’t publish in print — when the web was the only medium available — suggests that the newspaper could be just as effective, if not more so, although some seem to doubt this. Is it a painful transition to make? Of course it is, and all the more painful for the unknown number of print journalists who will lose their jobs. But the disruption caused by the web and digital media isn’t something that can be held at bay forever, not even by the sandbag strategy of a paywall.
The harsh reality is that printed newspapers are no longer one of the dominant methods of delivering news and information to people, and arguably haven’t been for some time. That doesn’t mean the skills and expertise of journalists who work for those institutions aren’t valuable any more — if anything, they are even more valuable (although they are also facing a lot more competition from things that don’t even look like journalism). But they need to be done in different ways, and a kind of reactionary, fetishistic attachment to printing things on paper is not going to help. As Betaworks CEO John Borthwick put it at paidContent 2012, media companies need to stop fixating on specific containers for information.
Post and thumbnail images courtesy of Flickr users Zarko Drincic and George Kelly
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Zanesville's Main Street joins National Road Yard Sale | Zanesville Times Recorder | zanesvilletimesrecorder.com
Zanesville's Main Street joins National Road Yard Sale | Zanesville Times Recorder | zanesvilletimesrecorder.com
ZANESVILLE --Although Zanesville's Main Street is part of the Ohio Historic National Road, until this year it has yet to be a part of the National Road Yard Sale, stretching 824 miles from Baltimore, Md., to St. Louis, Mo.
All that will change during Super Saturday, June 2, when Main Street will be lined with tables offering roadside treasures as part of the 7th annual yard sale that spans six states. Spaces are available for $10 per 8-foot space by calling Jeff Snyder at the Old Town Antique Mall at (740) 453-8694.
"I think that the more people we get involved in this, the bigger it is going to get," Snyder said, "Being a part of the biggest yard sale in the country is good for Zanesville."
The National Road was the only road to be funded entirely by the federal government and was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson in 1806. Also known as the "Road That Built the Nation," "The Old Trails Road," "The Cumberland Road," "The National Pike" and "The Old Pike," the National Road opened a trail to new settlement and eventually stretched 800 miles as the foundation for U.S. 40, which would link the country from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Although U.S. 40 no longer reaches from ocean to ocean, ending outside of Park City, Utah, it remains a part of the National Scenic Byways program with Zanesville's Y Bridge listed as one of its many historic sites.
Fueled by the District Downtown group of downtown residents, artists, churches and businesses, the yard sale welcomes nonprofit groups and booster organizations to participate, according to Main Street business owner Pam Uddin of Two Peas Antiques and Art.
"Spaces are selling fast. It's going to be a terrific opportunity for people and groups to bring their own table and be a part of the National Road Yard Sale," Uddin said. "It keeps growing and growing. In our two-block area, we have it mapped out for 102 tables. At only $10 per space, people will make their money back in no time."
Becoming a part of the National Road Yard Sale this year is a first because the annual Gus Macker basketball tournament had presented a conflict in previous years.
"Others on Route 40 on either side of town had been able to participate, but not the downtown that the National Road runs right through," Uddin said. "Our downtown is on its way up."
Proceeds from table reservations will benefit the District Downtown's efforts to promote downtown Zanesville. Links to area Ohio Historic National Road Yard Sale Days participants can be found at www.facebook.com/ nationalroadyardsale.
I saw this and thought all of my friends and family who are big sports trivia fans would like this new site called "who won the"
All you do is type in the name of the event, I. E. – World Series, Indianapolis 500, American Idol, Grammy, etc. And then select the year, and you get all kinds of related videos links and information pertaining to said event. Very creative and unique site!
New Jersey Mayor and Son Charged In Hacking Incident | SecurityWeek.Com
New Jersey Mayor and Son Charged In Hacking Incident
Felix Rogue and His Son Were Arrested for Hacking and Disabling a Website That Criticized the West New York Mayor
The mayor of West New York, New Jersey and his son were arrested on Thursday for allegedly hacking into an e-mail account and website connected to an effort to recall the mayor, and harassing those behind the recall effort.
FBI agents in Newark conducted an investigation that led to the arrest of Mayor Felix Roque and his 22-year old son, Joseph Roque, and charged the two with “gaining unauthorized access to computers in furtherance of causing damage to protected computers; causing damage to protected computers; and conspiracy to commit those crimes.”
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the compliant alleges that in early February 2012, a Hudson County resident and public official anonymously established and moderated the website www.recallroque.com, to post commentary and criticism of Mayor Roque and his staff.
Unhappy with the site, the compliant further alleges that in February 2012, the Mayor, 55, and his son attempted to hack into and take down the website and to "identify, intimidate, and harass those who operated and were associated with the site."
Shortly after their decision to attack the website, Joseph Roque had successfully hacked into various online accounts used in connection with the recall website. Joseph Roque then used that access to disable the website. Following the successful breach, Mayor Roque harassed and attempted to intimidate several individuals whom he had learned were associated with the recall website, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says.
According to reports from local news outlet CBS 2, an ambulance was called when Roque's ex-wife passed out in the courtroom during the initial appearance, and then got up saying “that’s my son.”
Gerald Lange, who lost the West New York mayoral election to Felix Roque, reportedly came to court to stare him in the eye, according to CBS 2’s Christine Sloan. “Coming from a man who called me ‘pretty boy commissioner’ and to see him in shackles is pretty sad, and to put his son through it and bring his son down like him that is a sad testament for a father to face,” Lange told CBS 2.
“It’s incredibly disappointing that resources have to be diverted from protecting the U.S. against cyber intrusions targeting critical infrastructure, federally funded research, and military technology to address a public official intruding into computer systems to further a political agenda,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward.
The conspiracy charge and hacking charges are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of causing damage to protected computers carries a maximum potential penalty of one year in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.