The Mainstream Media Has No Shortage Of Resources

from the doing-less-with-more dept

You regularly see people in the newspaper business, as well as some professional media critics, complaining about the terrible consequences of falling advertising revenues in the mainstream media. There seems to be a worry that as the Internet makes the news business more competitive, traditional media organizations won’t be able to afford to do “real” reporting any more. It’s not a crazy argument, but more often, the opposite seems to be true. Take the recently-completed Democratic Party convention. Ezra Klein points out that there were a ton of reporters who had to justify their presence at the convention, and so rather than focusing on what was happening on the stage (which they could have just as easily done by watching it on TV) they wandered around looking for trumped-up controversy to cover, giving undue attention (in Ezra’s view) to a few disgruntled Clinton supporters. Meanwhile, Matt Yglesias points out that CNN appears to have flown its stars to Denver, put them up in hotels, and constructed an elaborate new set for them, all so they could “cover” the convention in precisely the same way they would have covered it if those same stars had stayed at home in Atlanta or DC. Far from having inadequate resources, on the most high-profile news stories, the mainstream media seems to squander vast sums of money on things that only marginally improve the quality of their coverage. There are a variety of factors that may be undermining the quality of mainstream media coverage, but at the moment, a lack of resources doesn’t seem to be among them.

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Comments on “The Mainstream Media Has No Shortage Of Resources”

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Anonymous Coward says:

This is whats wrong . .

“the mainstream media seems to squander vast sums of money on things that only marginally improve the quality of their coverage”

The mainstream media (using CNN here) is not in the “coverage” business, they are in the business of selling tampons, dish detergent, tort lawyers, etc. They spend money based on what will increase thier advertising revenue dollars and none of the “mainstream” television organizations really seem to view actually improving the quality of the information they provide as important to increasing advertising revenue. Ergo, thats not where they spend thier money.

Yakko Warner says:

Re: Re:

I agree. If they just saw their “product” as the news itself, there’d be no reason for all the pomp and circumstance of sending out their top dogs. It’s as much, if not more, about the presentation of the news as it is the news itself, and so they fly out their top anchors to the scene to enhance their presentation, thus making their “product” more valuable.

Keith Jolie says:

Concentrate on circulation

Why newspapers don’t get something going with an online advertising agents (like google…) is beyond me. If they focused on creating a great product with a high circulation rate they could simply insert the advertising from the agent without having to employ advertising sales and marketing teams. This would result in a much lower internal overhead. This would also spawn a whole bunch of new small entrepreneurial businesses that specialized in creating ads that met the online distribution networks layout requirements.

chris (profile) says:

news guys have to fly around the world

that’s the only time they get to wear those khaki vest things and pretend to be indiana jones.

maybe i’m alone here, but i just love to watch aging white guys fail to keep the fear out of their voices when they report from war zones and disaster areas. watching them be frightened while sitting 10 miles away from any real activity is just extra win.

doubly so for weather guys. i don’t really believe there is a hurricane unless some jackass from a news agency is standing in the driving wind and rain taking his over privileged life in his own hands.

that what hard hitting news is all about: getting paid fat stacks to fly around the world and repeat what the government has told you to say.

Enrico Suarve says:

They were actually there...

ignoring the stage, looking for other stories and managed to miss

Riots (in the police’s own description)
Tear Gas
Mass Protests
Rubber Bullets
Illegal arrest and detention of journalists
Confiscation of journalists cameras and recording devices
Pre-emptive raids on journalists apartments

Where were they looking exactly?

MSM – blinkered, irrelevant bunch of stenographers (but with great hair)

Anonymous Coward says:

One good thing

That has come from the rise of todays corporate, for profit, info-tainment news, is the rise of the info-babe. From CNN to FOXNEWS, we are living in the era of the info-babe. Yeah thier vacuous and in many cases seem hardly capable of even just reading the corporate tripe scrolling across thier teleprompters. However, a nice rack and a hot hairdo, isnt that really what an informed public is all about.

Cindy C says:

How do CNN and other cable outlets stand-in for the MSM as a whole? All of the ‘death of media’ hoopla is about print media. I DO think that sending a team of reporters when sending a few would suffice is overkill, but what people want to read in the newspaper is their favorite columnist’s take on the ordeal.

Unless people back off of their habits of treating journalists like best friends or movie stars, the only ones left will be Dowd and Brooks making six figures, while they lay off the “real” reporters making one-third of that!

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