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News Is Not Just Any Old Business

28 Aug

Somehow I missed this news about The Onion (via Tank Riot):

Andrea Hansen, advertising sales manager at Capital Newspapers, which publishes The Onion locally, sent out an email this week explaining that the newspaper was not renewing its contract with The Onion. Hansen could not be reached for comment. Todd Sears, Capital Newspapers’ general manager, did not respond to a request for comment.

Bob Marshall, a spokesman for The Onion’s corporate headquarters in Chicago, confirmed the news in an email.

“Unfortunately, yes, the Madison print edition will discontinue at the end of the month,” Marshall wrote. “The local readership of the paper remains strong, yet with the changing landscape of media, the advertising dollars needed to keep a Madison print edition going just weren’t there.”

I can’t help but lump this mentally in with the sale of The Washington Post to Jeff Bezos, and related developments, such as the blog, The Monkey Cage, moving from independent to WaPo listing (via Marginal Revolution). Leaving aside that The Monkey Cage‘s new paywall deal sounds improvised, Neil Irwin at Wonkblog explains the problems newspapers have today.

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A Stupid Fight

23 Jan

texas shootingThere’s been a gun-related fight at a Texas college. Fortunately, only three people were injured. These three quotes just shouldn’t be in the same debate about guns.

I saw two dudes basically get into an altercation and… the dude that shot, he basically got angry and, you know, started shooting the other guy. A lot of people heard a lot of shots,” Brittany Mobley, a student, told KHOU local news.

The North Harris campus near George Bush Intercontinental Airport is one of six run by Lone Star College, which has a total of 90,000 students, making it the city’s biggest higher-education institution.

It is the fifth shooting incident at a US educational establishment since 10 January. However, many Texas politicians have criticised President Obama’s plans for increased gun controls following the Newtown massacre last December.

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Children Acting Like Adults

11 Jul

Tiny Pundits

Art imitates life, and then twists it into perspectives not readily apparent. “Tiny Pundits”, featuring areal adult and media personality, Joe Conason, and three girls masquerading as adult talking heads on a news discussion show is on its face so hilarious, it’s no longer funny. The litany of spin and non-sequiturs is just too accurate.

Yet, why three girls? Children are much less gender-segregated than this exchange. Adults are the ones who make artificial cultural distinctions. The banter between the three girls is a bit too personal, and ignores how talking heads struggle to stay on message despite the fact, that the person sitting next to them is also trying to stay on message – and contradict them. It’s not the personalities of the individual pundit at work, but the party lines themselves that are causing the rancor. Behind every pundit there’s often an entire cadre of idea people and donors.

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