Monday, December 22, 2008

Note to Dying Print Media PG Vets: Build Your Own Damn Online Paper (Or at least try...)

Dec. 21

I bought a Sunday Post Gazette today. I'm not sure how long I'll be doing that. Read the sad news here over at 2 Political Junkies. So, what would happen if the Post Gazette went under? Bad News, Good News.

Bad News first: Looks like evil Scaife will probably win. If you're not aware of the battle between less evil and evil (And Scaife is most decidedly evil.), then you might not know that Scaife has been trying to put the Post Gazette out of business for years. What that would mean is that there wouldn't be a print publication in Pittsburgh that wasn't in the hands of of either business interests (Pittsburgh Business Times and yes the City Paper) or far fight business interests (Tribune Review and the New Pittsburgh Courier) with nary a Tony Norman column or Rob Rogers cartoon in sight. Even if the City Paper provided some balance to what would then be Scaife's relentless drive to turn us all into Republicans it wouldn't be a fair fight. It would not be unlike getting all your local television news from your friends at Fox. Your print news would be determined by arguably one of the most evil men in the country: Richard Mellon Scaife.

The Good News: The print news isn't that important anymore and the truth of it is that papers like the Pittsburgh Post Gazette are the DLC equivalent of the newspaper profession. They speak to certain liberal ideals and orthodoxies but in practice they're not that much different from the Republicans. Nobody finds NAFTA or election fraud "newsworthy" or at least not newsworthy in the sense that what you write could change the policy or find the truth regarding those respective issues. Don't get me wrong. A town left to Scaife wouldn't be a better town. I voted for former DLC member Obama. There are differences. But it wouldn't be the end of the world. And in the long run:

More Good News: The best journalism in the United States is being done online. There's nobody in the print media as good as Glenn Greenwald. There just isn't. And even if there was that person doesn't work as hard as Glenn Greenwald. And its that way on every conceivable issue. If I want real information about a subject I go online. I don't read the Post Gazette. I read the papers mainly to figure out what elites think, not because they represent some nonpartisan view of the issues of the day.

Even More Good News: When the Post Gazette writers were negotiating their most recent deal--which looks like its being undermined by management already--I was kind of hoping that things would fall through and that there would be a strike and they would attempt to put out an online paper. Then I was kind of hoping that it would work. Then I was kind of hoping that they would say goodbye to the Post Gazette if it did work. Hope springs eternal. Looks like a number of Post Gazette writers will get a second chance at creating and owning their own thing. Employee owned newspapers would solve a lot of problems. Of course, a lot of PG writers will just go into PR. The truth of the matter is that's what most "News" people are anyway. PR flacks. But it would be nice to see who the real "journalists" are. It would be nice to see if there's anyone down there on the Boulevard who writes because they believe in it even if they aren't paid 40 grand a year.

Final Good News: We need something as bold and as uncompromising as The Real News for print. (Video seen above.) Gotta build it though. It would be nice if George Soros did it but no such luck...