Newspaper Guy Worried That Fewer Voices Are Heard Today; Apparently He's Never Been Online
from the what-world-is-he-living-in? dept
What's amazing is how that single sentence shows not just what he's asking for, but why he thinks he needs government support: because he's completely blind to what's happening in the real media world around him. When you can't see what's happening in your very own market, perhaps it's no surprise that you'd ask the government to bail you out. However, his statements are wrong in so many ways. First, there's no shortage of "voices" out there today. In fact, there are more voices than at any time in history -- and it's in spite of the newspapers, not because of them. Newspapers are still focused on believing they're the voice, rather than enabling that "variety of voices." The very reason newspapers are in trouble these days is because others were able to enable the voices, while newspapers held steadfastly to a model that just doesn't work.
And, no, government support won't help. Putting people in charge who recognize how people consume news these days is all that's needed. All Blethen has done with his statement is shown that he doesn't understand his own market, is unwilling to change and wants to blame everyone else for his own failings -- and, because of that, wants taxpayers to bail him out for his own mistakes. No wonder newspapers like his are having trouble. Meanwhile, plenty of news venues are thriving. But to do so, you have to stop thinking of yourself as a newspaper of ten, or even five, years ago. Unfortunately for the Seattle Times, it doesn't appear its leadership is able to do that.