What is News? (and How to Become a Part of It)

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broadcast-1545372-1920x1440Sometimes I feel as though I live this ethereal existence, floating (or seeping?) between the world of the news and the world of those who want to be in the news. That I feel this way offers testament to how much journalism has changed since the days of “Uncle Walter.” Actually, it reveals how flawed our vision of this “unbiased” news narrative has been.

Several items over the past week have prompted these thoughts. The first was a headline that came out in the waning days of January proclaiming The Drudge Report was about to surpass CNN in terms of on-line pageviews. According to an article published by MediaPost (“10 Publishers Account for  All Online News,” January 28, 2016), last year The Drudge Report had 8.5 billion page views, barely behind CNN’s 8.8 billion (MSN and ESPN at 27 billion and 23 billion respectively topped the list). The data was collected by a firm called SimilarWeb and is available onContinue Reading “What is News? (and How to Become a Part of It)”

What a Difference 27 Years Make

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newspaper-history-1314775-231x173We’ve seen pressure on all traditional media – print and television – for some time now. However, we might want to look at the recent history of radio as a harbinger for what to expect in these other media markets. I began working in the radio industry as an AM disc jockey in the late 1970s, just as, given its superior audio quality, FM was becoming the “go to” frequency band for music fans. Radio personalities had to find a way to attract and keep listeners. While still playing music, we began relying more on talk – mostly of the (innocent) humorous kind. It wasn’t much of a leap from there to Howard Stern and then to Rush Limbaugh.

Print media has been suffering a slow and agonizing death since before we originally started The Sentinel in 1989. I remember, at the time, telling one of my college classmates – whose family owns a well-known west coast newspaper publishing company – that I was starting a newspaper. He told me I was crazy. He had seen, first-hand, the erosion of the traditional newspaper business model. I told him, while the decline in the newspaper Continue Reading “What a Difference 27 Years Make”