‘… but the seats are special’

Jon Stewart examines the important questions journalists should be asking themselves after the departure of Helen Thomas from the White House briefing room — and it’s sad.

Especially the clip of former Bush Press Secretrary Ari Fleischer:

“The definition of what’s a journalist now is changing, but the seats are special.”



Michael Jackson matters … get over it

It’s understandable that people who only tune into news channels and Web sites for the latest news on politics would complain that the coverage of Michael Jackson’s death would complain that he’s dominating the coverage.

But, hey, get over it.

Jackson’s death, whether you celebrated (as my dad said, “now those kids can live in peace”) or mourned it — it’s news.

NewsBusters has been having a field day criticising all the coverage, but it’s still news. I wasn’t alive when Elvis died, and was only 1 when John Wayne died. But I’m sure both were covered like crazy by the media. Shoot, Elvis’ death is still commemorated every year by the media.

When I was in kindergarten, I distinctly remember my grandpa picking me up from school and then going home and have grilled cheese sandwiches and talking about Ronald Reagan. I also remember my babysitter, Marcy, and her record (yes, record) of Michael Jackson.

Like him or not, Jackson is news. That’s why it’s being covered. And it’s a slow news week.

And frankly, some of us should be thankful for the summer distraction. At least it draws attention away from the infighting between Sarah Palin and former-loser-McCain staffers.

So can everyone in the “conservative” media shut up and realize that news is news? Even if it’s about someone we don’t agree/appreciate with or despise?


‘Probably not going to lose a lot’

An old San Francisco TV news report from 1981 began playing the “Death March” for print newspapers. It’s amazing how aspects of the report are true — and how the print journalists missed the mark.

Note what David Cole says:

This is an experiment. We’re trying to figure out what it is going to mean to us as editors and reporters and what it means to the home user. And we’re not in it to make money. We’re probably not going to lose a lot, but we’re not going to make much either.

I’m not one to think the Internets is going to destroy newspapers — most news organizations were (and are) extremely slow to embrace new technology and new tools. Whatever the medium, the need for good reporting skills remains the same.

Like the housing bubble, we’re seeing the news bubble burst — the big, inflated, over-valued operations will be overtaken by the small, quick and nimble (and I would dare say young).

Here’s the clip, via Evan Coyle Maloney: