1. On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most
agreement, what is your view on whether the largest daily newspapers
as we have known them in Minnesota are dying?
2. On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most
agreement, what is your view on whether Minnesota needs dedicated
entrepreneurs to come forward and offer innovative, economically
viable, and worthy replacements?
_____ 3. On a
scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (10) most
agreement, what is your view on whether a community-based effort
should be undertaken to articulate the problem, create public
awareness, and develop suggestions for such replacements?
Clarence Shallbetter (8) (10) (9)
Lichty (10) (5) (7)
Hennessey (5) (10) (0)
Question 1: What
is this? Whether the papers are dying is not a matter of OPINION, but
FACT -- such as circulation and ad revenue. WHY they are dying may
be a matter of opinion, but still it too is quantifiable; are they
"fair and balanced" or typically biased and pushing one ideology, like
all the other papers that are failing?
Question 2: Who
else but entrepreneurs? Surely you are not proposing government
take-over of the media?
Question 3 Leave
the community agitators out of this. By definition, entrepreneurs in
any industry have to pimp themselves out to their customers, and give
them what they want at a fair price. Otherwise the enterprise will
fail. So let the entrepreneurs figure out what it takes to get into
and make money in the news business -- what their customers want, what
they will pay, what the advertisers will pay, how to put the product
on the market at the least cost, etc.
If we still have a
Constitution and a Bill of Rights, the government or the "community"
has no role in offering, managing or regulating news and commentary,
except as customers voting with their purchases and letters to the
Jennings (8) (9) (8)
Senn (10) (5) (8)
Donald H. Anderson (9) (8) (5)
Dennis Johnson (9) (0) (0)
for two reasons: Information, and Opinion. As to information, there
are much better resources available now to use than newspapers, mainly
the Internet. As to opinion, journalists have lost the capacity to
distinguish between information and opinion, and the vast majority
write to their own biases, which are over 90 per cent liberal. The
same is true of schools of journalism. People now want a greater
variety of opinion, and want to know what is news and what is opinion.
So why should this obsolete medium continue to exist, either by
subsidy or by wealthy donors supporting them? Let them die with the
horse and buggy.
H. Hauge (6) (10) (10)
Carolyn Ring (8) (8) (4)
Press (10) (10) (10)
Magnuson (10) (5) (6)
Shirley Heaton (10) (10) (10)
Well you really
hit a nerve with this session. Being a retired journalist who studied
journalism at the University of Minnesota, I was most interested in
the topic -- as you can imagine. I can't help but feel that the print
media should consider going the not-for-profit route with the
intention of being eligible for seeking financial assistance from
Foundations with the 'civic conscience' Bruce talked about. Having
just received my certificate in Grant Writing from Rollins College
(Winter Park, FL) I am convinced there are angels out here who are
simply waiting for a tax-relief deal from the IRS to set up
foundations (if they haven't already) to come to the rescue. The
political consequence of not being able to endorse candidates could be
resolved in other ways, I'm sure.
become nothing more than a 'spectator sport' if the print media is not
available to give credibility to the electronic 'whatever' we're
getting these days. And I love the concept of reporters willing to do
the leg-work on a pay-for-print basis. Only thing is, the print media
would have to have good re-writers on the staff to sift and digest the
info in accordance with their newspaper's purpose and policy. As for
the 'Journalist Institute" idea -- while a reporter in Baltimore I, of
the Afro American, and fellow reporters of the Baltimore Sun and
Baltimore News Herald informally set up such an arrangement (unknown
to our publishers, of course, and no doubt the editors had suspicions
but never voiced them). It worked perfectly.
In other words,
SAVE THE STRIB should be a cry heard throughout the U.S.!
Schubert (10) (10) (10)
Heegaard (8) (10) (10)
Thompson (8) (7) (7)
Robert A. Freeman (8) (7) (1)
Not only in Minnesota, but newspapers across the country are dying off
as they struggle to compete with the Internet and change their
business model to reflect the lack of advertising revenues. I do not
believe this is necessarily a bad thing in the long run as nature
abhors a vacuum and suspect that the entities referred to in the next
question will fill the void.
Entrepreneurs will always come forward, whether there is money to be
made from some new model of providing news, or whether it is for more
civic reasons (e.g. Joel Kramer and MinnPost, which has found a way of
providing quality journalism without the infrastructure of a
disagree with the notion that the business, or especially the state,
should intervene, convene or in any way get involved with the media
(e.g. in the way in which the feds have bailed out the auto
industry). Think this starts us down a very slippery slope if the
media owes anything to the state or to a benefactor.
White (9) (9) (10)
Robert J. Brown (8) (10) (10)
Question 1: They
are dying, but they wouldn’t have if the ownership didn’t pass from
people who cared about the community to media conglomerates who were
used to 30% profit in the tv business rather than the 8-10% profit of
a typical business. The greed led to reduction in staff which led to
less in-depth reporting and less quality product which hastened the
decline of readership which drove advertising revenues down. Even the
Strib would be profitable now if the owners had overpaid in the desire
to make outlandish profits in a field they didn’t understand. It is
sad that we have only the Hubbard media as the only locally owned
media in the market – and the only one with the resources and
willingness to contribute to the Minnesota nonprofit community.
Question 2: What
we need are social entrepreneurs who would like to make a profit, but
have some sense of community responsibility in developing media with
integrity and depth.
Finnegan (8) (10) (5)
Eklund (9) (9) (5)
Mansky (9) (5) (5)
sure of the best direction to go at this point. On the one hand,
people are willing to pay for well informed reporting in a format like
the Economist, which is not daily. On the other hand, since craigslist
obviously makes money on classified ads, one wonders when someone will
figure out a way to take that business away from them on the local
Pundt (9) (5) (7)
Miller (9) (10) (10)
Hamm (8) (8) (8)
Question 1: There
is no question of this fact the difference lies in why. The biggest
problems for these organizations are ownership with no ties to the
people they serve, pro Socialist antigun themes by many of these
entities that do not register well with the populations they purport
to serve, and a failure to achieve relevance. As a long time writer of
LTE's, new rules in recent years making my submissions copywriter of
the individual papers I have written for, this means that now I have
to do a rewrite for every paper I submit to which makes them all but
worthless to activists like myself. I have a hard time pitying poor
decision making and out right arrogance in the face of defeat amongst
many of these outside owned organizations with little or no connection
to their base.
Question 2: To
some extent examples of this already exist. Adam Steele's publications
over in Bemidji is one such example of a locally owned press with a
connection to the people he serves. Scenic Range News of Bovey is
another. Like many I have long since dropped the Murdock style press.
Question 3: Many
of us out here who have recognized this problem for years have been
trying to put forth some competition with very little success. A
number of such entrepreneurial enterprises have tried and failed for
lack of resources and experience. I continue to publish targeted,
mostly political, stuff and dream of creating a viable local entity.
Thank you for
putting an issue with statewide implications back on the front burner.
I posted your
interview to the MN Voices Online discussion board. It's an online
discussion space for folks using technology to build community across
Greater Minnesota. You can see the post at
The decline of
legacy media has been a thread on the board.
interesting group with LOTS of technology new media savvy. Spend some
time wandering around. The place I like to start is with the members
who's on board.
Frenzel (10) (5) (1)
they have been managed about as well as General Motors.
Question 2: The
need may be there, but the likelihood is not.
not a ballot issue. Some entrepreneur has to figure out what the
market, if any, is; create an effective business model; and risk a
ton of dough. Would you invest in such a venture?
Slocum (8) (10) (10)
Another way to put
this question is, in the future, “Who will pay for journalism?”
Thanks for this
very interest look at newspapers and the media
Sen. Sandy Rummel (6) (10) (9)
the local content in our papers is diminishing; and much of the
content comes from AP or NYT. Maybe that is efficient, and better than
Question 2: My question is how do we get impartial news
untainted by the “profit” factor. I like MPR and TPT and think
MinnPost is the next best thing for news.
Charles Lutz (4) (9) (8)
Schmitz (8) (10) (10)
Broden (9) (10) (10)
Question 1: Newspapers are a rapidly dying breed for a number of
reasons that keep being discussed--the public demand for information
has evolved to seeking information in almost any form including news
print but newsprint has competition in form for readers and
in advertising revenue so both reader revenue is down or gone and so
is the revenue from advertisers --big and small --business and
classified. Discussion of the death of newspapers thus requires
consideration of topics such as content, content quality, reader
interest, cost of the newsprint vs. free sources, and the revenue
based advertising. Advertising requires an audience and if no readers
no need to advertise etc. Bottom line newspaper format as we have know
it is dead or dying-- the search for information/news remains--the
need to advertise remains--thus how does a new form of media with the
appropriate access by the citizens evolve and provide
the information required for an informed society--I think that we
all believe that for the republic democracy form of government with
informed citizenry to continue to be strong and grow we must have an
active and effective media (note I did not say newspaper)
available to all and which ensures public awareness and stimulates the
needed discussions. This is the challenge.
Question 2: The media must be local owned and have a very solid
local/state commitment and sense of who and what we are. For this
come to from the private sector is important to build a process and
capability that links to the people and an community of business,
industry, government etc. The new media (not newspapers) must be of a
form that evolve with time and will have the needed incentives for
innovation. This is best served by the private sector. The new form
may be partnership with a non-profit structure for journalists
etc.--and the media being the distribution and communication leg of
the media capability. Other concepts also apply. More on this in
following discussions over the next few months.
Public debate is
the purpose so the stimulus for the new media must evolve from the
those who will be the users and readers and those that seek a process
for advertising an those that will communicate. The effort should be
open and unbiased.
Stone (10) (8) (2)
This discussion was focused upon the supply side of the daily print
news medium while the nature of the demand side was assumed. This
incites the curiosity about whether or not there is an ablation of
critical thinking and the enthusiasm for news that attends such
interest and thinking.
Language is more
than an aggregation of words. Language implies, facilitates and shapes
an intellectual and cultural paradigm. In the midst of an information
explosion, the individual writing skills of our populace have waxed
truncated. Unless one uses writing skills for work, proper English
appears too burdensome. Speed seems valued over precision.
There seems a
reasonable argument that our culture may not propagate the demand side
of comprehensive newsgathering and distribution.
like MinnPost seem to be the larval form of some new digital format,
they are self-absorbed with the cuteness of being not a newspaper.
It is perhaps intuitive that the work product of a body of people
enchanted with a new medium would bend noticeably to the left. A duly
pupated and ultimately mature version of such experiments may grow to
pass the ultimate metric of capitalist matriculation; Will someone
pay for it? Then we can return to the annoying demand side
question, “Are there still enough critical thinkers remaining in our
linguistically and intellectually challenged culture to support a
quality news service?”
Keller (5) (10) (10)
true that newspapers are in decline, but it is difficult for me to
accept that news, in depth, will die without replacement. Neither TV
nor blogs give us depth in the news. I wonder why Mr Benidt did not
comment on a combined Metro paper. Personally, I would like to see a
"public" newspaper, much like MPR which did not have a political
Prest (7) (7) (7)
Swain (8) (10) (10)
Halstead (10) (10) (10)