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Archive for December 2006

The true assassins of the American newspaper

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Will Bunch at Attytood says, “The American newspaper is being assassinated by ‘a lone nut.'”

Craig Newmark of Craigslist is responsible for the demise of an industry, Bunch argues. Traditional newspaper classified advertising has migrated to Craigslist, he says, because CEO Newmark doesn’t want to make too much money. He permits free ads or ads well below market rates. So, of course, people with stuff to sell or jobs to offer flock there.

That leads to job losses at newspapers, Bunch says, because classified ads produced (or used to, at least) lots of money. Newspapers are poorer, so they cut jobs.

Well, Bunch is wrong. These job losses are not Newmark’s fault. Bunch should point his finger elsewhere — at the incredibly stupid decisions of newspaper ownership and management.

Jingle bells, jingle bells, profit all the way …


Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

December 12, 2006 at 6:28 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

He’s alive! He’s alive! (Watch out for the villagers, Tom)

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You’d think, given the legal and ethical stakes driven into his heart, that Tom DeLay would be politically dead.

He ain’t. He’s alive and well and envisioning a Republican recapture of Congress.

According to the Hill News, the newspaper that bills itself as for and about Congress:

Former Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) announced the launch of an Internet-based grassroots organization aimed at raising money and uniting Republican activists to take back and hold the GOP majority in Congress, according to a release today.

For instructions on lighting torches, read on.

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

December 11, 2006 at 3:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The sad erosion of political speech on the comics page

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Apparently Johnny Hart’s “B.C.” comic strip, intended to run on the 65th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, was too much for the San Antonio Express-News.

The daily pulled his Dec. 7 strip that defined “infamy” as “a word seldom used after Toyota sales topped 2 million.”

Says managing editor Brett Thacker: “More than just a feeble attempt at being topical, it’s a regressive and insensitive statement about one of the worst days in American history.”

But, notes the paper’s ombudsman, Bob Richter: “Some readers might accuse the Express-News of censoring Hart or nodding to the Japanese business interests that selected San Antonio as the site of their new facility to build Toyota trucks which, incidentally, began rolling off the assembly line last month.”

Is this just all about the ad dollars? Read on.

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

December 10, 2006 at 3:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Shocking news! Paying more, getting less!

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It’s called greed.

If you live the great state of New York, you’ve witnessed a stark climb in the cost of insuring your vehicle. But I’ll bet you didn’t know that auto insurers operating in New York were paying out less in claims.

Says Newsday:

Auto insurers earned $10.5 billion in premiums in New York State in 2005, a jump of nearly 29 percent from $8.2 billion in 2000, according to a report by [New York City Comptroller William] Thompson’s office. But during the same period, the report found, insurers’ losses dropped by more than 20 percent, from $6.4 billion to $5.1 billion. [emphasis added]

Wait’ll you read insurers’ excuse!

Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

December 1, 2006 at 4:14 pm

Posted in Uncategorized