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Rantus Interruptus

October 5th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Rantus Interruptus
To you style mavens today I am attempting to modulate my usual rant-rant-solve format with a new format. My wonderful web geek told me that my paragraphs are too long and I need more headers. I suppose that is because you all have the attention span of a kitten on speed. Because you can’t concentrate.
Header One: Why can’t You Concentrate?
Mostly because Content is drivel. I used to think that between the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, Louis Rukeyser’s ‘Wall Street Week’, and National Public Radio I could be sure of fair, balanced, thoughtful content. Scratch Rukeyser in 2002 when the programming whizzes ( why does that make me think of a men’s room?) @ NPR (Maryland Public Radio)screwed with him and he got pissed-off and quit.
That was when NPR started losing their grip on anything having to do with Money. Finance, the Securities Market, the Federal Reserve, Taxes, GNP: anything to do with Money. When NPR’s marketing idiots decided THEY knew more about what their audience wanted/needed to know about Finance, when they got involved with Content THAT’S when it started to go downhill.
Header Two: Why NPR can’t Count
When the marketers started messing with content @ NPR, and they became afraid of Bush II and watered down critical thinking and any third party pundits who did not buy them off as Sponsors, their Economic reporting became boring and low-grade. When their idea of hard-hitting reportage is Tess Vigeland hooting it up with a Fund Manager the same day the Dow fell over 3%, I started looking on my dial for KALX.
When Bush II came in the Wall Street Journal rolled over: their content went into the realm of Glen Beck and FOX. Worthless. They stopped covering the Economy in anything other than soft-core porn adoration of Greenspan and started sucking up to the B School graduates. Flattery becomes doggerel when they are more interested in getting the latest Harvard Grads for interviewees than in calling their Daddies on corruption.
Header Three: Why the New York Times is a Sad Fishwrap
For years my sign that life was acceptable ( I married two overachieving, lying, maniac depressive men, so my standards of “acceptable” included Arruba not Sanity) was my daily dose of the New York Times. San Francisco, Chicago, Walnut Creek, Pacifica, penury in El Cerrito, and now Clayton, Ca – anywhere I was the Gods Who Deliver would have my daily fix on the doorstep by 6:15AM.
Alas, that romance is over. Even with a full black & white dose of fiber (yes, that does mean p-r-i-n-t) in my hands it’s not the same. It’s like talking to your Bubby when she’s starting to go: the rich old relatives and their lifestyles, the scandals of landsmen who betrayed us, adverts for watches for the Shiksa Mistresses of her friend’s husbands, and puff pieces on an Economy down sour.
I Think This Is Header Four: Content, Content: where is the content?
My premise: you are bored because the media IS boring. It has been so dumbed-down that it is not challenging, or thoughtful or even surprising. It’s not that you are the MTV generation and Jump Cutting makes you want something new and fast every tree seconds. You are bored because it’s an insult to your intelligence.
Is there A Solution? (Oops! Header Five )
NPR has their media Pundits ( I do love On the Media & Studio 360 ) bemoaning the death of newspapers. The grey hairs at the Print Publications are bemoaning the loss of their expense accounts, and the fact there is much less fat in the budget. You could say it’s Craig Neumark’s fault. I don’t think so.
I do not believe that the Wikipedia Collaborative Journalism Model will work. People must be paid for their reporting. Geeky stay at home wonkers who read the RSS and rant ( of course NOT ME), holding up their iPhones™ for pictures are never going to be a substitute for Real Content from real reporters (Gretchen Morgenstern rocks!).
Solution: people are going to have to pay for Quality Content. There is an old saying “If you get something for free you got what you paid for”. What we are getting online and from the Newspapers, Magazines (New Yorker , Wired, the Economist excepted) is the pap they think we want. Her e it comes: we need to find good, challenging, critical media and support it. With money.
Peace Out. Write back with what YOU think is/are good reporting. Please.

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