Gannett and Tribune are thinking about merging.
We long ago have had a media dictatorship. In Canada, that dictatorship in print is in the hands for the federal government who now gets to control them with their strings-attached money.
There is no free speech when it comes to journalism, and Big Tech is getting in on the act. For those who worry about their rights and freedoms, your fears are grounded.
We are not living in a democracy. We are living in an illusion of it, and even that delusion is fast fading…
I wrote the book on this collapse last year called When Journalism was a Thing, but since I am female, I get ignored. If you want a thorough, well-researched, honest, accurate, reliable, valid, useful, passionate, objective, and definitive answer to what is happening now, read my book.
The Washington Post is an outlet in perpetual denial. Journalism is dead. The end. If the Post cannot grasp or face the reality of their dead profession, they cannot see anything in front of them.
Let’s look at the headlines Drudge drudged up today:
And the partisan New York Times whining:
Do not believe the New York Times for one millisecond: there was no promise of a “brave new future” with BuzzFeed. It was always garbage with filler, propaganda, and ignorance that never did journalism differently. It just has garbage quizzes and tacky propaganda with snark.
That’s not an actual thing to be proud of, even if you are completely stupid and without morals or common sense.
Notice that the only trick has been Trump-bashing and begging for money, and neither lazy hack is working — it is, actually, having the opposite effect.
No, nerds pretending to be hip and edgy isn’t going to save a dead profession.
And the ridiculous mantra that “the future is digital” has been dealt a deathblow.
When you use old tricks and stunts and never admit that what you are doing is not working, that’s what happens.
The medium is not the content. The medium is not the structure. The medium is not the mandate.
The medium is not the saviour.
The lazy ways of journalism have not saved them, and the fact that the new generation of outlets have collapsed the same way proves once and for all that the model is broken beyond repair.
Get the memo, children…
The American Conservative has a stupid article about the death of journalism. It is the same sort of stupid other Left-wing media trolls have whined about, and I have said before, but let me say it again.
Journalism properties were bought by asset-squeezers for the last twenty years because legitimate companies could no longer make a profit because no one was reading their product anymore.
An Asset Squeezer is a vulture that feasts on dead carcasses. The end. The American Conservative has no grasp on the concept at all, and that’s truly frightening. They are blaming vultures for their death, which is ridiculous.
Asset Squeezers know how to make a profit from dead properties. They fire everyone they can. They sell assets, such as real estate. They cut down on printing and sell off the printing arm and centralize operations. They get rid of things as they shed resources that are profitable whether or not the publication is.
If this concept is hard to understand, think of it this way: you can’t find a job, but you have debts to pay; so you sell all of your jewelry, stocks, bonds, and collectibles before selling your house.
You are still bringing in money, but as you are not working, sooner or later, you have nothing more to sell.
The gravy train runs dry.
Now suppose your house and all your chattels were acquired by an asset-squeezer. The difference is they sell your house, car, gold, keep the cash, and then kick you out once they sold your last possession.
That’s what happened to newspapers.
But it is also actively happening in broadcasting, too.
I covered the newspaper industry in the early aughts: this was happening back then, too.
The American Conservative doesn’t compute: they are talking about the New York Times’ digital subscriptions as if it were a hopeful sign, when it is a sign that the industry imploded.
You still have a few relics who want antiquated information, but they aren’t going for local, but whatever seems to be left over. It’s like a fad food outlet being everywhere, and then it loses its popularity, closing most of its outlets, save for a few in a couple of larger markets, and then people who still want it drive up a distance to get to the few remaining ones.
But even that will not last long. Once the habit of not reading local was broken, eventually, people don’t even want the big city papers as they can no longer relate or have real use for it.
When the smaller arteries die, the bigger ones die as well, and that is a basic concept reporters still do not seem to be able to grasp.
Your audiences have been shrinking for decades. You are attracting grim reapers operators for a reason.
Do not expect a Reality Denier to know what the fuck is going on — they only report from the planet Deludo, and keep hoping for a miracle in Hell…
I was reminded of a very good quote that fits journalism perfectly:
“More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.”
― Harold J. Smith
Or more accurately, repeating them.
I remember doing extensive research in the mid-1990s about new magazines that were cropping up at a time when circulation for old magazines were going down. From Brill's Content to Vent to Might to Talk, journalists were getting excited and thought that these brash magazines just might pull in younger readers and save the profession.
There was big hope in the industry as all of a sudden, a bunch of rags were coming out that had a distinct and posh look, a unique voice, and were seemingly doing things differently.
That super-secret organization called They were coming to save the day.
I was not convinced it was going to be enough because the differences were cosmetic.
These magazines made bold declarations. They were aggressive in many ways, and creative.
They hired good talent. Might magazine got the ball rolling with fake celebrity death news. They were very Spy magazine in so many ways.
But what needed to happen with these magazines never did. They were still doing the same thing the old guard was doing, but with sleeker production values and a snarkier demeanour without actually doing anything remotely revolutionary with journalism.
Not a single one of these magazines is still in circulation.
They are all gone.
At this stage of the game, there should have been real panic.
The old trick of bringing in a fresh cycle of audiences failed, and the legacy titles were eroding.
If ever there should have been a radical departure from the old model, this should have been it.
But it wasn't.
There was always the next They to come around.
I deliberately kept an eye on this part of the industry for a reason because this was the critical time when a new distinctive generation of outlets needed to emerge with healthy numbers to sustain itself.
Talk had Tina Brown with then white hot powerbroker Harvey Weinstein. Brill's Content was hyped and was pushed. Might was a media darling with a devoted following.
But they were all non-starters.
I would include George magazine in this as well, and it was a very good magazine, and I had every single issue from the first.
It had John F. Kennedy Jr. as its editor and founder, and he put his soul into that magazine and it showed. He could generate buzz, and was cagey enough to put A-list celebrities on the cover and inside the magazine.
Yet he interviewed relevant players. It has an excellent circulation, topping the old guard's numbers with ease. He created a hip and smart publication. I was in j-school when the first issue came out, and one of my favourite professors borrowed it from me, and flipped over it. I think we talked about it for an hour.
If any one publication should have pulled a rabbit out of a hat, George was it.
And then JFK Jr. was killed in a plane crash, and the magazine crashed right along with him, and it folded as well.
No one had interest in George if John wasn't involved in it, and then meant the man, not the magazine was the primary draw all along.
At that should have been the wake-up call. That should have been the sign every person in the profession of journalism should have taken to heart because the last man who could have literally resurrected journalism's fortunes could not create an outlet that could outlive him.
And with McClatchy yet again reducing their staff by 3.5%, you would think journalists would finally say, we obviously have no idea what we are doing. Time for a change -- as in a real change.
You have reporters getting giddy because the new owner of the Los Angeles Times is hiring.
This is not a sign of hope. It is a sign of someone who thinks they can do the same thing and expect a different outcome.
The job ads call for the same flawed and defective qualifications. The job titles are no different.
Nothing is different.
Not a single thing is different. Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss.
If one million people walk in front of a truck and get killed, the one million and one person cannot honestly expect to survive.
They can wear different clothing. They can run. They can sing a different song or use a different power phrase as they are stepping in front of a truck.
They get hit. They go squoosh. They seriously die. The end.
If reporters believe this is the They that will save them, they are in for a rude shock.
It is the new magazines all over again.
If you don't want to get killed by a truck, you keep out of the truck's way.
And if your They who you think is going to save you is strutting in front of the truck, you are in trouble.
It would be refreshing if journalists for once and for all, acknowledged their mistakes. It would be their liberation because then you can make changes.
But they must want to fail and be losers as they keep waiting for the Great Pumpkin fly in to give them an industry.
There is no other way to explain their collective insanity of denying the very mistakes that did them in...
Propaganda is nothing new.
As in, it has always been with us.
I would post quite a few newspaper articles here, but the use of racial slurs is really too much, and if you want to verify it yourself, do it.
That's right: newspaper headlines and editorial cartoons were very proud of using stereotypes to go along with the war propaganda.
My book Don't Believe It!: How lies become news chronicles a lot of the state-sponsored trolling that went on in mainstream media, from the First World War, both Gulf Wars, and the war in the former Yugoslavia.
I chronicled those the most because many of the other war coverage would be considered hate speech.
We still have hate speech because journalists cannot let go of their narratives of combat and division, but they have to be more careful.
So they got the three brain cells they had among them and decided to go after the Russians in a bid to get their power back.
In this case, they are using logical fallacies with their meta-propaganda: that is, propaganda about propaganda.
The Internet seriously weakened not just journalism, but politics. Politicians are so used to their old rigs that the loss of control they have suffered threatens to blow away their facades and expose what little power and control they actually have -- and should citizens realize what criminals knew decades ago, they wouldn't go on a rampage and break the law so much as ignore the law and not tremble in their boots or expect some institution to save them: they'd do it themselves in the way that suits them.
Once people figured out they don't need journalism to air whatever grievance or information they had, journalism collapsed, meaning governments lost that air of authority, weakening their rigs, and diluting their power.
So they have to think of other ways to regain control, and what they know is to scare the little people.
We have McClatchy scaring people about how propaganda (or "fake social media posts") is "exploding globally", while Bloomberg has some long drivel entitled "A Global Guide to State-Sponsored Trolling" complete with obnoxious old school computer graphics in a very geezer way of trying to be ironic.
Nah, it was always there, we just used to call them "press releases."
You remember the state-sponsored trolling where the US regime took a young female Private by the name of Jessica Lynch and made her over into a war hero, guns a'blazin' and all that jazz.
Or the trolling of how a young female hospital volunteer named Nayirah testified she saw Iraqi soldiers kill Kuwaiti new borns.
You think propaganda just came on the scene just now?
Nice try, you trolls.
Journalists don't get that their credibility is just like virginity: once they lost it, it was lost forever.
Meta-propaganda works by invoking fear, and pretending you can trust no one else -- except the ones spewing the meta-propaganda.
It is a con game, of course, and every con game has a confederate shill warning you not to the trust the main grifter because the confederate has your back.
So I question every article pushing this narrative. If anyone is secretly working on behest of some other dubious grifter, it would be those pushing this kind of dreck.
Propaganda works if you are afraid. If you are not intimidated by someone, you do not care what lies they are selling because you are brave enough to verify that information on your own.
I am a political atheist and radical centrist for a reason: no one is going to scare me into a corner.
I can handle the eye of the storm, thank you very much.
Because you become what you hate and you become imprisoned by what you fear.
Don't hate and fear, and you liberate yourself. You learn there are many trustworthy people out there. You learn to hone your instincts and senses without fear of looking silly or getting trolled by cowards who try to shout you down.
Those lost souls are not to be feared. Pitied, maybe, but never feared.
F.R.E.E.D. doesn't worry about state-sponsored anything. It searches for facts. When you put facts out there, the lies become increasingly obvious.
That's why I never understood why journalism just didn't drop the narratives and opinions and stopped depending on PR to dictate their stories: if they just used more facts and less fear-mongering, lies would repulse them and the world would insist on organic news, not this over-processed trash.
A day late and a dollar short, kids. The information stream was infected a long time ago, and that's why it is time to leave journalism behind and embrace a better way of informing the world about itself...
Journalism is North America has always relied on narrative to package facts. Tell a story, even if one isn't actually there.
Here is a silly and oblivious story in USA Today with a headline that shows how out of touch journalism is with reality:
Gay Pride parades used to mean protests. Now they're an excuse for straight kids to party
I hate to burst the bubble to the LGBTQ identifiers, but pride parades were always protests for their in-group...and always a hip place to party for out-group straight kids because their parents got that ball rolling by taking them there for free entertainment. I know multiple generations of straight women who go every year to pride parades to hang out and party.
Just as there have been straight women hanging out in gay bars for the same reason.
It is usually nerdy straight white women who do not see Pride as a protest or an affront to their group because they are Princesses Without Flaw, but a place to brag to who she believes are nerdier and more conservative friends and acquaintances that she is doing something more hip, edgy, and enlightened than they ever will, and this is the easiest, cheapest, and most passive hack to do it.
What you have is two groups completely disconnected from one another who are running parallel in the same space, albeit on two different hamster wheels; so self-absorbed by their own mutually exclusive goals that they absolutely fail to see each other or comprehend how the other is actually interpreting this contrived environment.
One group thinks its parades are making a protest statement of defiance and anger, not realizing the other side interprets this as a fun and frivolous outing that someone spent time and resources putting up, and all they have to do is show up and reap the benefits. It is free entertainment and cheaper than going to the movies. It is also rarer, bringing up its cache for attending: anyone can go see a boring old Star Wars movie; but not everyone can go to a one-a-year parade.
The other group thinks here is a fun and flamboyant little party that is Instant Cool Fun and has nothing to do with icky things such as politics or telling off their own psychographic.
This phenomenon is nothing new. I know lots of straight people who have been seeing Pride as a Fun Thing To Do for decades -- and it's not even to show solidarity -- just to have some fun standing around and then rave to their Middle Class friends. Some of these straight parade crashers have even gotten insulted multiple times by those on the other side of the line in the sand, and never saw it as such, bragging with a completely opposite interpretation of those cutting remarks. No matter what Pride organizers say or do to make it clear what the intentions of this outing are, it will not be interpreted that way to their target audience whose lofty self-assessment filters out any negative implications.
They think they are perfect, as in without flaw; ergo, they never think, say or do anything wrong. Good luck having a parade with a message that implies the opposite. The word breeder is turned into a term of endearment to those stay-at-mall moms who see a Yummy Mommy every time they stare at their smart phone taking another selfie, and then all words and actions become nullified in the bargain and those protests are misinterpreted as something chic, slightly naughty (think 50 Shades of Obliviousness), but still acceptably mainstream kawaii, and that rainbow flag might as well be shucked for a Sanrio character, perhaps Kuromi.
It is akin to having two groups of people being tricked into wearing virtual reality glasses, and have no idea what is front of them is not what anyone else is seeing.
So, how to do you ensure facts can bypass self-preserving filters when the audience's interpretations of reality have a narrative that is rigged to ignore your intent?
Narrative is a problem when it doesn't align with reality, and when it doesn't, it becomes propaganda.
And right now, we do not have news. We have paranoid narrative, which is just another way of saying propaganda.
Journalists lost their minds in November 2016 when all of their decrees that no one was allowed to vote for Donald Trump fell on deaf ears. It was a shock that they still have not gotten over, and it should surprise no one that their breakdowns are getting out of control.
They are blaming Trump for separating children from their illegal immigrant parents, when it wasn't too long ago, they thought little boys who travelled hundred of miles allegedly by themselves was just so darned cute!
Which means these sentiments are mere Morals of Convenience, and it rings hollow, even with those super fake crocodile tears. For those of us who had sounded alarms about this global problem for years and were ignored, we are being ignored again because the facts we find still do not align with the journalistic narrative.
It must be maddening for the Western press whose tantrums help build the Trump brand and have turned his voters into his guardians. The press has even gone to smear with all sorts of sick allegations of incest, and nothing.
Even The Hill is starting to clue in that this whole Trump as Hitler propaganda campaign is not helping a dead profession resurrect itself. The rest of the press is not clicking with that reality.
I am surprised they haven't accused the First Family of cannibalism yet.
They did with Serbs, however.
Journalism, and "investigative journalism" is nothing but a joke -- and one filled with self-serving motives. The Russians are being made into the Villains who got Trump elected because it is too humiliating for the press to admit that one man could entirely bypass them to become president.
Here we have McClatchy -- a rickety media outlet with no teeth, babbling about how the Evil Russians are trying to "tear Americans apart" with their propaganda.
File it under "National Security."
Of course, the McClatchy story is meta-propaganda: it is propaganda about propaganda.
And it is pure bunk.
The entire purpose of the McClatchy propaganda and paranoid narrative is simple: to force monolithic thought and rig it to favour McClatchy.
The paint themselves as noble authorities and the subtext is clear: Villains want to divide us; ergo the solution is for all Americans to think alike and we will issue the directives on what you are supposed to think because you are not smart enough to know how to do it yourselves...
And don't vote for Trump in 2020. You are forbidden from having a nation with diversity of thought and opinion.
This is what so-called journalism has sunk down to: proving the Clash was right on the money with the song Know Your Rights.
It is just another scary story used to try to regain the power the press once held but lost because of their own arrogant and irresponsible nature.
That's not journalism. That's a scam.
Besides, nations have been meddling in other countries's affairs for centuries. The US does it all the time, but see their meddling and breaking up of other countries as Good for Democracy. Journalists have been doing it -- and it is the reason they are trying a little misdirection themselves: if they point out other people's meddling, no one will be looking at their meddling.
But their propaganda is based on an old model that is no longer in sync with a changing world, and it comes off as pathetic, self-serving, cringeworthy, and obvious.
It is the reason journalism is no longer a thing. Those in the profession are willing to throw half their population under the bus to reclaim their old power.
And you cannot resurrect that kind of information dissemination through the old methods because you still have immoral elements who would hijack, sabotage, and co-opt any attempt to improve the product because when you are dictating to the little people what to think, your motives are not to tell, but to sell.
Not to inform, but to persuade.
And that's not what the world needs.
It needs facts, data, and evidence free of those strings.
It is a method that liberates facts from narrative, and in such a way that it is useful to a general public.
One that already has their own blinders of narratives tainting information coming in.
But if there is a way to present facts that challenge narratives and propaganda, then we break a barrier.
And we can separate fact from narrative.
We have activists who are our flare-guns: shooting light on issues and people who have fallen into the cracks. They may have important information, but they often come with narratives that skew too much in unrealistic fables, moving too much into PR territory.
F.R.E.E.D. is the system to ensure those lost voices are heard and those lost souls are seen, but in a realistic light. They may be victims, but they are also mundane people, just like everyone else. Not better, not worse, not special, not deficient.
F.R.E.E.D. gives their facts and realities equal footing without the added public relations baggage that often hides the facts we need to know to find the right and just solution.
F.R.E.E.D. is about removing the compulsion to deify and demonize people as it rebels against labels. it has respect for audiences. It doesn't tell them how or what to think.
it gives them the fuel to drive their thought, however.
it is much more than just a laundry list of facts, however.
It shatters illusions and delusions. It shows reality to find truths.
it passes no judgement, but it does not use shame to condemn people, either.
Let the facts speak for themselves by opening up each atom to unleash what we need to know.
It shifts thinking away from narratives and asks questions such as why do people do absolutely everything except the very thing needed to be done to solve a problem?
That is the first and core question: Why do people stay locked in their own prisons when they can make their own key to their own freedom?
That was journalism's job: to find the keys to freedom, and they did everything else but that. They saw the lock and then a bad thought took hold: why not keep that lock in place where we have a captive audience who will listen to us as we promise to find that ever-elusive key for them?
And then the Internet hit them like a tidal wave and tore the door open, and the captive audience escaped.
November 2016 was the first realization that the door of the cell could no longer keep everyone in -- and they went in all sorts of shocking and unpredictable directions.
In a world of freedom, journalism is not the conduit of information anymore.
It is F.R.E.E.D.