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A Very Simple Powerpoint October 10/15 & 10/17

#JTPGWU Virtual Class with Professor Usher

For anyone seeing these on the internet.

These were constructed for class purposes for Journalism: Theory and Practice in October 2012, a class taught by Dr. Nikki Usher at George Washington University (@nikkiusher) and should not be used as reference material or as anything else. I was ill and put a virtual class together CITATIONS: Kimball, Downsizing the News: Network Cutbacks in the Nations Capital in Tumber, 210-211. The New York Timess Lonely War; A New York Times Whodunit; NBC and GE

From 10/15
How does all of what we talked about from Bagdikian relate to Adorno & Horkheimer You only get this because I have a sinus infection FWIW
We can see some massive problems The culture industry is the news industry The culture industry is across everything Media companies are owned by companies like GE That restricts the power of what they can say Separation of Church and State gets smaller and smaller

Bagdikian A&H
So if we think about what happens to these poor journalists
Pseudoindividualism seems rife p. 151 Maybe its not even so duped (see Marquette poll editors knowingly doing this) My old advisor, Geneva Overholser was that editor who quit the Des Moines Register (and later became Dean of Annenbergs School of Communication at USC). (Side note: for women in journalism, I cant think of a better class act to follow.) You can read her manifesto for journalism here

Bagdikian A&H
Is the fact that journalists are revolting to advertising sponsored news hope? Or is advertising too crucial especially now? In other words, is the American Dream of journalism just a lie? Are these journalists just donald ducking themselves?

McManus: Market-Driven Journalism

Where does A&H come in? Public companies exist to make profits,


Public companies are publicly owned by shareholders, who invest money in the company for certain ownership rights (including the right to control the company through voting and the right to share in profits). In addition to raising capital from equity investors (shareholders), companies may obtain financing from creditors (e.g., banks or bondholders). Public companies often conduct some or all of their business through wholly-owned subsidiaries. The shareholders do not directly own or control these subsidiaries, but since they own the parent entity they do indirectly own/control the subsidiaries. Creditors may loan money directly to the public company, or they may lend money to any one or more subsidiaries. Though each subsidiary is required to have its own BOD, practically speaking there will be significant (or total) overlap with the BOD of the parent company. The BOD is responsible for managing the company (though it typically delegates day-today duties, e.g. to a publisher), but certain actions by the BOD require approval from shareholders (e.g., a large purchase or merger).

[Creditors (e.g. Banks Bondholders, etc.)]

= Newspaper = Board of Directors (BOD)

So what matters is the picture on p. 182

Relationship between media firm and news firm Norm of journalism v. norm of business Key decisions occur at three stages: discovery, selection, and reporting
All take into account $ or do they? Constraints all the way down Sources are constriaints two

Take a look at the following relationships

Investors and parent corp Parent corp and firm Media firm and news department
Hire fire publisher, set budget, local newscasts give local management a lot of control Halo effect Remember everyone watches local news

What do you do?

Advertisers and media firm?
Whats the way out of this? Are people being duped? Are they being told the truth Is there a truth? Is it all just about consumption? Making us buy more want more even through news???

Its pretty complicated news is a command of special interests that are external and internal to the newsroom, and becomes a commodity itself p. 189

Downsizing the News: Cutbacks at the Capitol

First some facts: Check out the decline in state reporters at state capitols and also in DC of federal agencies and across TOWN Declines of coverage of congress The San Diego Union-Tribune killed its DC Bureau even after it won a Pulitzer for tracking down the corruption of Rep. Duke Cunningham. Just a question Ive been pondering: was news really always about traditional good news for us?

Negative coverage leads to negative responses about government, generally TV helps set a national agenda, though I will argue its newspapers that play part 1 Do you watch network evening news? Are they all the same? Serious consequences for Watchdogging

What does Kimball have to say about A&H

Think a little bit about what it means to have control over the means of production at the level of the firm Think also about what it means that people learn from each other Think also that most newscasts are the same Think also that there is a need for reporting Many conflicting ideas. Your choice is to argue for or against the overwhelming presence of A&H, or to see the influence of their argument in certain places and not others.

The New York Times Lonely War

Dangers of War Reporting AND AMAZING CHALLENGES Can a newspaper really afford this?
You cant cover a story only when interest peaks, says Bill Keller, the papers executive editor. You have to walk the beat all the time. This is so integral to what readers expect in The New York Times that if we stopped covering the war in Iraq we should just go out of business. THE RAT DEN v. a lap pool

Expat a time of diminished resources

Today, neither CBS News nor Time magazine has a fulltime correspondent in Iraq. The heady days when hundreds of journalists, diplomats, and NGO staffers would drink and smoke and pair off by the pool of a local hotel are gone for good. Making a social call to someone outside of your compound is now virtually impossible; no one wants to risk his or her own life, or that of a driver or guard, for the sake of a hookup. A twisted piece of metal sits in the living room of the main Times house in Baghdad as a reminder of whats at stake. Its part of the radiator of a cement truck driven by a suicide bomber; it landed in the yard following an attempt to destroy two nearby buildings.

What I had seen in Iraq was a small band of reporters from a shrinking number of outlets doing remarkable work under increasingly difficult conditions. What Id seen at home even among many of my colleagues and friends and among some media executives was an American audience that largely didnt care... Culture industry? Much?

If you want to be good

Read more Seth Mnookin. Interesting fact: he was at one point a serious heroin addict. Do not do this part. But write like him.

Now we get the NYT of Today

A publishers Mexican girlfriend detracts from the public service mission? Janet Robinson gone? Stock decline (Public Company) NYT troubles what does that mean for reporting. So far? The Sulzberger commitment to reporting???

The NYT of Today

The Paywall. How many of you all legitimately have digital subscriptions??? In the era of Arthur Sulzberger Jr., when newspapers have flailed under new digital realities, the New York Times Company has shrunk dramatically. Once it was a wide-ranging media empire of newspapers and TV stations and websites, and even a baseball team, that was worth almost $7 billion; today its essentially two struggling newspapers and a much-reduced web company, all worth less than $1 billion (for comparison, consider that the Internet music company Pandora is valued at almost $2 billion). Despite the shrinkage, the company has retained essentially the same top-heavy management, which it has kept well compensated. Even though the paper froze executives pensions in 2009, as it is threatening to do with union employees, the company created two loopholes, called the Restoration Plan and the Supplemental Executive Savings Plan, which allowed certain high-earning executives to take money out anyway. As a result, Janet Robinson received an additional lump-sum payment of over half a million dollars upon exiting the Times.

How does this fit into A&H

What does this say about high art v. low art (actually what do both articles say about this?) What does this say about the culture industrys movers and shakers? What does this say about the power to create and shape news. Is it any less? What does it say about whether it matters who is in charge?

A real life 30-Rock: NBC AND GE

During its Friday broadcast, NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams had no time to mention that Americas largest corporation had essentially avoided paying federal taxes in 2010. Or its Saturday, Sunday or Monday broadcasts, either. Did NBCs silence have anything to do with the fact that one of its parent companies is General Electric?

Dude, whom do we trust?

News organizations often wrestle with how to report on their own mistakes and those of their parent companies. ABC and Fox, for example, have been chided by critics over the years for glossing over unflattering news about their parent companies, the Walt Disney Co. and Rupert Murdochs News Corp., respectively.

Obviously, the only answer is.