Friday, February 13, 2009

Lies, damn lies and internet "journalism"

In what I assume is a column (have you ever noticed it's hard to tell on the internet what is supposed to pass as hard news and what is opinion?) referring to the oft-discussed switch to non-profit newspapering in the Internet "magazine" Slate we find these as the first seven words:
Now that newspapers have stopped generating profits

Hmm. Let's see. In a fourth-quarter that should see a net loss for the S&P 500 companies, Gannett reported operating earnings of $158 million. New York Times Company reported $27.6 million in earnings. These are just the big boys. Most community newspapers don't report earnings because they are often privately held, but I doubt many posted operating losses. It's just that they don't get the routine 20 percent margin they are used to. Yes the big boys are swimming in debt they accumulated from buying up papers (and making the former newspaper-owning families rich), but so what? If GM were posting operating profits and merely needing time to refinance debt Detroit would be ecstatic. Where is the earnings statement of the internet only news operations? The truth is, most internet companies from Twitter to Facebook are losing money. But everyone wants to give them millions because "they're the future." Newspapers MAKE MONEY, but its cool to diss them, so let's celebrate their destruction, or mock those who are trying to figure out how to survive the onslaught.
I guess real journalism involves making up "facts" on the fly and editorializing out of your sphincter.

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