NYT Image: Bad news for newspapers

My attention was drawn to a graphic published in the New York Times yesterday concerning the state of newspapers. Not only does it show a graphical representation of the declining circulation of newspapers, but the bottom also shows which newspaper companies are losing the most money in terms of advertising revenue (the Chicago Tribune company is really hurting). Check out Media Owners if you want to find out what companies own what newspapers.

The other thing that I saw was that the Tuscon-Citizen is probably going to close it’s doors on March 21st unless they can find a surprise buyer. It hasn’t been around as long as some other dailies that are threatened (like the San Fransisco Chronicle and the Seattle P.I.), but it’s still sad to see a news daily go under.

Again, the challenges newspapers face are getting money from readers who expect to get their news for free and the getting the same amount of money from advertisers for their online content as they do with print media.

Over

International Week and Night is finally finished. It was extremely stressful running the event, but even though I’m glad the work load is finished, I can’t help but feel like a part of me is now gone. No more late Wednesday evenings or early morning chalking.

Last night’s turnout was amazing. For a while, I doubted that anyone would show up, but we pulled through and got a ton of people to come. I was down in the kitchen for most of the day and missed the show, but I was able to take part in the fashion show, so I was able to see the audience.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who came and helped out.

Do you REALLY believe that?

Something I’ve noticed: in 95% of the arguments I’ve witnessed or partaken in, any of the two positions the debaters take is logically defensible. Excluding the irrational arguments I’ve witnessed, arguments generally center around a small group of positive statements with the disagreements being concerned with normative statements.In high school forensics, we always, always played devils advocate as an exercise in argumentative discourse. The point was not so much as to understand the other side’s view as much as it was to see how easy it was to construct a defensible position on almost any public policy question.

To change subjects slightly (I’ll bring them back around in the end… I promise), my own personal beliefs have been constructed via the following process: investigate the positives, reconcile my normatives with the positives, and form my own beliefs around them. But after starting college, I noticed an interesting trend; friends started adopting other friend’s normatives, then seeking out positives to support them. While I feel my normatives are based on a philosophical structure (in which I hope none of my opinions cause me to ‘backtrack’), I felt because my friends normative values were unstructured because they weren’t a result of their own investigations. In listening to their opinions on various public policy, I’ve found them to have stances on an issue that cause them to contradict a stand on another. I’m by no means saying I’m not guilty of the exact same thing; in fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say I have one or two beliefs that may contradict each other (but when they come to light, I’ll do my best to reconcile them). My concern is that I feel people are taking positions on policy because their friends are taking them. Just because a person can defend a piece of public policy doesn’t mean they’ve thought out how that piece of policy reflects their own personal philosophy. In other words, I really feel that people advocate positions without contemplating how those policies, or what those policies imply on their moral/ethic/philisophical structure (the dashes are ‘or’s because some people have no ‘moral’ structure for philosophic reasons).

In one sense, I really don’t believe it matters, based on my own personal philosophy, but on another level, I think it’s sad for the person because having been easily swayed one way, it’s simple for a person who is adapt at arguing to sway the other person, and that person’s position based on their own highest values is never realized.

It’s Art!

I’m tired of hearing that journalistic writing is too dry, too boring, or too rule constrained to be art, especially that last point. Journalistic writing is artistic; it just takes a refined taste to see it for what it actually is.

Too confined in rules? Think of haiku poems. Haiku’s must be written 5, 7, 5 syllable lines. Few dispute whether or not they are art.

Too boring? Too dry? Maybe it’s just that we as Journalists see what others don’t; that is, perhaps we detect the subtleties in the writing.

I can look at every journalistic piece I’ve ever written, and just by the writing style, I can tell you what was going through my head when I wrote it, how I was feeling, ect. I can picture what other writers are feeling as I read their pieces as well.

It’s art.

Dammit.

Whispers and Shadows

One of the things I love about PR is that practitioners are taught early on that transparency is next to godliness (as opposed to cleanliness).  Hiding things, even things seemingly harmful to a client, is taboo. Even though the rational isn’t rooted in ideology, it provokes an ideological trait  I think is worth discussing.

Reading through some of my old blog entries (pre “Bryan’s Sophia”), I feel there was a lot of room for ambiguity. I was, and still kind of am, afraid to define specifics as exemplified by ambiguous pronouns and situations that can be universally applied. Some of my friends privy to my older blogs have claimed that while there is a lot of ambiguity in my writing, the ambiguity gives my writing universal application. This would all be fine… if my posts hadn’t been meant for personal reflection.

I feel that some parts of me are completely transparent, but I also feel that some parts are needlessly ambiguous or opaque. Obviously, nobody should be 100% transparent. Everyone has, and probably should have, their secrets, but I think I would benefit more from being a little more willing to share with people. I know where my unwillingness to share comes from (insecurities, obviously), but without putting myself “out there”, am I not missing an excellent opportunity for personal growth?