Tough Times for Print Media

Loading

It’s not like the halcyon days when I first started writing for newspapers, back in late 1969. Today, print media is struggling to survive in a world dominated by digital media and mega-corps owners (although not so hard it can’t pay its CEOs and executives several million dollars while they slash real jobs).* Print media has long been losing its advertising share, a trend exacerbated by the internet. Newspapers now have about 11% share, compared to about 35% for the internet, … click below for more!

The News: A User’s Manual

Loading

Alain de Botton attempts in his small book to give us a guide, to provide some larger, meaningful context, to the news we get 24/7 these days. I don’t think he succeeds very well. In part it’s because he sees news as something grandiose, world-moving, world-shaking. I’m more familiar with the local aspect; a much smaller scale. It may not appear to have the majestic sweep of international news, but it isn’t any less relevant. We are focused, collectively, on the … click below for more!

Amateur layout and bad ads. Again.

Loading

I see the Town of Collingwood is still letting the EB layout its full page of ads in the paper.  Tragic. Embarrassing. Cringe-worthy. The latest back page mashup has as its first ad the worst of the worst sort of ad layout, the sort only amateurs would create. It’s too wide for any human being to comfortably and efficiently read. Then there’s the second page with its fat partner in layout crime. It’s embarrassing for a municipality to be thus represented. The … click below for more!

Where Have all the Readers Gone?

Loading

No, it’s not a remake of Pete Seeger’s famous 1955 anti-war song. That’s the title of an article that appeared in the Globe and Mail this week, by Peter Denton, lamenting our overall slide into image-based information with the “…intellectual attention span of squirrels…” * It grabbed my attention from the headline, but I stand at odds over his conclusions and his figures. Denton worries that people are reading less and sliding towards “personal illiteracy”: It’s not that e-books are … click below for more!

Lessons from the paper

Loading

There’s a story on page B2 of the January 1 Enterprise Bulletin (not online yet*) that offers us three lessons. Two lessons on how the local media fails us, one on cringe-worthy political ineptitude. Those lessons are: How far the credibility of the paper has fallen; How little respect there is for real reporting and investigative journalism in the local media; How pusillanimous and dysfunctional council has become. Let’s start with number one. The article on page B2 is headlined “Business centre strategic board … click below for more!

The Gauche in the Machine

Loading

Rudibus ex machina: criticizing Collingwood’s latest newsletter feels a bit like punching a puppy. Or commenting on the sloppy grammar of local bloggers. Both are far too easy, like catching fish in a barrel, and I feel guilty when I even think of doing it. But since your tax dollars are at work, it needs to be done. Someone needs to stand up and say this is not the standard  we expect from a $55 million-a-year corporation. This might be … click below for more!

Where Have The Real Heroes Gone?

Loading

Heroes, it sometimes seems, have been relegated to legend and myth. There are none left, none of the sort I used to associate with the name. Not in the media, anyway. The word has been so abused in the media over the last century, tossed about in such a cavalier manner that it has lost its former credit; it has become debased language, its pith cored for showy effect, like glitter, like so many over-used superlatives have been. Its strength drained … click below for more!

Happy Talk

Loading

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBWjNlBko70] A recent study proved an old notion – the Pollyanna Hypothesis – that there is a “universal human tendency to ‘look on and talk about the bright side of life’” according to a team of scientists at the University of Vermont. The story was reported on Science Daily recently. Reading through newspapers, magazines, websites, music lyrics and movie titles in ten languages, the researchers concluded that “probably all human language skews toward the use of happy words.” That struck me as counter-intuitive. Maybe … click below for more!

Back to Top