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Friday, May 15, 2009

An idea to save newspapers

Have one person buy them all.

Comments (10)

Um, I hate to break it to this columnist, but "aggregation" is the model that the American media industry has been following since at least the 70s.

Craigslist is a growing business, the Oregonian is a dinosaur just beginning to choke on the ash. The difference between the two is that the former is sitting on millions of eyeballs and has monetized (maybe) 1% of it's content, and the latter has a firm grip on the 55-90 age group and has already squeezed every drop of revenue from it's business model.

Where would you put your money?

One person: Uncle Sam.

John Q. Public

You and me, fellow citizens, buy them with our taxes, administer them with our majority stakeholder position. 'All the news, none of the lies' ... or the reporter gets fired. Everyone in line gets called to serve some time -- like jury duty -- as reporter. Photographer. Press operator. Driver. Editor. Publisher. All that gets the needed job done, according to and in respect of our individual abilities.

Some might decline to serve, (like declining doing jury duty). Some might stay on indefinitely, happy with a job suited to their talents, (like re-up'ing a 'careerist' in the public-employee military service).

Buy with our (town) taxes at least one newspaper for every town, the newspaper 'of record,' and beyond that then 'free-market' entrepreneurs can go right ahead ... just they don't get a monopoly on 'news' and what isn't.

Buy with our taxes all the broadcasting going on, PBS at least and after that 'pirate' broadcasting can go right ahead.

Buy with our taxes all of this, instead of and none of the Dept of unnecessary break-the-bank ungodly costly 'Defense', and we shall have a massive MASSIVE tax rebate coming back. ... plus we'll own the mass media and have jobs to do in it, for ourselves.

Somehow I don't find this model any more tenable than that posited yesterday in your "Just don't call me chief" post.

If the "localized electronic news model" you cited (in DC) is the best we can do, I fear most people will only view sources that selectively report facts supporting their political view. Frankly, if such online sources become like FOX News or Air America, it will be the start of a great tuneout of issues for the great mass of folks in the middle of the political spectrum.

So Tenskwatawa, we all become enslaved to pump out state controlled "news"? That's the check on government power and abuse?
Let's see, where has that been done before ...


A Hopeful:

I can read "Pravda" in the Cyrillic alphabet. Makes me feel like I learned something in the one quarter of freshman college Russian I took, besides how to say "German Shepherds eat small children" and "I want to embrace you".

Practical stuff like that.

I used to know how to say "Did you ever participate in an Air Raid?" in Serbo-Croatian, from an Army manual from WW2, and when I lived in NYC & went to Chinatown functions frequented by local pols, my girlfriend taught me to say "Are you corrupt?" in Mandarin - all the grinning ignorant Public Servants reflexively replied "yes, yes" when I asked them, to the delight of the Chinese at the table.

We already have a similar model to the gov't owned newspapers: Schools. And to top it off, we have compulsory education laws.

Sam Smith, one of the heirs of the real tradition of newspapering, explains why the archaic media FAIL continues:


Every year about 150 of the most powerful people in the world gather in a secret meeting. Known as the Bilderberg Group, the American mainstream media steadfastly refuses to report its existence. The only mainstream stories we could find this year come from a British and an Israeli publication. It is alleged by the American media that those who show any interest in these meetings are conspiracy theorists, when in fact any journalist covering world affairs who doesn't show any interest is a lousy reporter.

Adam Abrams, Haaretz, Israel - From today until May 17, approximately 150 of the most influential members of the world's elite will be meeting behind closed doors at a hotel in Greece. They are called the Bilderberg Group or the "Bilderbergers," and you have probably never heard of them.

The group, co-founded by Prince Bernard of the Netherlands, has been meeting in secret every year since 1954. This year, says the British broadsheet The Times, they are meeting at the Nafsika Astir Palace in Vouliagmeni.

The individuals at the meeting come from such power houses as Google and the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Senate and European royalty. Governments, the banking industry, big oil, media and even the world of academia are amongst the Bilderberg ranks. Those reportedly in attendance at last year's conference in Virginia include former U.S. senator Tom Daschle; Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner and his predecessor Henry M. Paulson; former U.S. secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Condoleezza Rice; Microsoft executive Craig Mundie; senior Wall Street Journal editor Paul Gigot; World Bank President Robert Zoellick and Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

There is no official list of who's who in Bilderberg and there are no press conferences about the meetings. . .

Former British cabinet minister, Lord Denis Healey, who was one of the founders of the group, branded assumptions of world domination as "crap!" and said that the group's aims were much purer.

In an interview to journalist Jon Ronson of the Guardian, Healey said: "Those of us in Bilderberg felt we couldn't go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people and rendering millions homeless. So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing."

Veteran Bilderberg-watcher Daniel Estulin says that the big topic on the agenda for this year is the global depression.

Estulin quotes sources connected to the group as saying that the group is looking at two options, "either a prolonged, agonizing depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline, and poverty. . . or an intense-but-shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.". . .

This year's conference may have been covered by British broadsheets, but don't expect to see any coverage from U.S. news outlets such as The Wall Street Journal or the Washington Post - they will most likely be at the conference.

Charlie Skelton, Guardian, UK - You know your day's gone badly when it ends with you being shouted at in a Greek police station.

It wasn't meant to end this way. I'd gone for a gentle sunset walk, up by the Bilderberg hotel, to relax before the big opening day of the elite globalist shindig, watch Phoebus plunge headlong into the western sea, and (yes) maybe sneak a couple of short-lens pictures of the mounting security.

Opposite the hotel gates I took a casual photo out over the bay, limbering up to swivel round and snap off some naturalistic "armed guard having fag and chatting up policewoman" sort of shots. A plainclothes officer jogged across the road and got in my face. . .

He takes my licence. A group of policemen have sauntered over, and mutter Greekly about the enormous threat to the smooth running of Bilderberg I seem to represent.

"What is this?" asks one of the local militia. He takes my notebook. Opens it at random. "What are you writing? What here?". . .

They confer. An imp in my brain tells my hand to reach for my camera and take a photo. Click. Whir. At which point, on a gorgeous May evening on the Athens Riviera, began one of the more stressful hours of my life. Hands went to holsters.




Over came the man with the machine gun. Over came the man with the special mirror-on-a-stick for car bombs. It was the first time in my life, and hopefully the last, that I've been intimidated by a mirror on a stick. They circled round me. . .

All around me: "Delete! Delete photos!" followed by a lame tug of war for the camera with no great self-belief on either side, which I won. Camera back in pocket.

Then it became: "Get in the car!" Get in the car!" I wasn't about to get in the car. I remember saying: "One of you has a machine gun, you're shouting at me, I don't understand why, I took one photograph, this all seems a bit strange. What's going on here?"

One of the nicer policemen, who looked a bit like the short guy from LA Law. . . took me aside. "Very important people coming. Very important. No photograph. Please get in car, we take details, put in computer, you can go.". . .

They drove me to the police station. Other cars followed. At the station, officers gathered from all quarters. They'd sniffed an incident. A dozen of them stood round me. The Greek chorus reached full voice: "Give the camera! Delete photos! You understand?!" I hated my hands for trembling when I wrote down my father's name so they could look me up on "computer". But at least I got a chuckle hearing them try and pronounce Melvyn. . .

"Charge me or release me!" is what I didn't shout. I sat quietly and tried to still my hands in my lap. I smiled at Christina. I was winning.

Suddenly, a "you can go" from the sergeant at the . . .

I slept. This morning, feeling stronger after a slice of breakfast cake, I think I understand: I was the trouble kicking off. I was the agitation they'd been warned about. Very important people. No mistakes. They were wired, pumped up for confrontation, and my photo had been the spark. It's why they'd blown up in my face. Important people arriving. No fotografia.

And then it struck me: there really isn't any fotografia. There's none. Not a single member of the mainstream press. Not a single newshound camera on a tripod. Nothing. Nothing is happening here. Nothing to report.

The limousines have started to arrive. Nothing to report.

They've closed off an entire peninsula. There are roadblocks. Machine guns. Nothing to report.

This is Bilderberg's 57th annual meeting. Nothing to report.

Thank you for heads up.

I found this article from the Asian Times from 2003. According to the author, the Bilderberg does not invite Asians, Middle Easterners, Latin Americans or Africans. The group sounds like the successor to (continuation of?) of the Knights Templar.



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