March 16, 2018

MSM Bingo! Statesman sold and #TXPrimary dust settling

We've got a runoff for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination between the the incompetent (so far) Loopy Lupe Valdez and the insufferable "I personally" Andrew White.

Meanwhile, last week, the Austin Stateless was sold to Gatehouse's parent for pennies on its one-time dollar. This just a year after the Dallas Snooze outsourced its pagination/copy editing to Gatehouse.

What do these two things, and others, have in common? This graphic of mine below.


This is primarily about newspapers, from my expertise. But, one magazine that you should know is included. So is the pack of TV and radio stations, more and more of whom are owned by folks like Sinclair.

Of course, the clear square does mean something. It is certainly understandable by me. But, the ownership class at the media knows that well and continues to exploit it. The bottom, lightest-shaded square in the gray column also means something in the big picture of media things in the Pointy Abandoned Object State™.

The bottom left square also means something, in a reverse-snark way. And, in a real way, non-daily papers, with smaller five- and six-day community dailies at least somewhat on the same side of the fence, face their own worries.

A lot of the other squares, though? Newspapers, not just with ownership, but with upper-level editorial staff, are digging their own graves.

Take the Dallas Snooze, with a clickbait child-level header on a story that wasn't much more than a nothing burger and certainly not "investigative journalism," about city sewage infrastructure, which the Observer first gave a moderate level skewering by Stephen Young, then the full Monty by Jim Schutze.

The actual story? And the Curious Texas project behind it?

This belongs on Quora, not a theoretically serious and theoretically major daily paper. (And, thus, the death of a thousand cuts from the online world goes both ways.)

If the Snooze wants to keep this Curious Texas project, accept questions like this and do stories on them, at a minimum, it would go with non-clickbait headers AND writing. And, they should be no more than, oh, 300 words?

As for Ms. Jennifer Emily?

You're on MuckRack, too? Hope you've raked actual muck.

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