"The taint of journalism"

Dateline: Mon 18 Jun 2007

Reader and commentator and friend L.R. Dixon has sent the following observation about the Star's circulation -- after acknowledging that he "signed up" for their special offer of $1 (!!!!) for Thursday-Sunday delivery. His wife, he said, wanted to read the paper. I sympathize; I do, too. Like him, I wish there was more of substance to read.

Here is his astute comment about the games being played:

"I believe that the Thursday/Sunday give away price (for 26 weeks) is to bolster to their grocery advertisers that those advertising dollars are not being as wasted as they may think. I didn't want the Thursday paper at all but I was tired of driving over to the gas station to get the Sunday edition for the wife. Of course, it too is mostly ads and without many of the sections that she used to enjoy reading. So, giving away the Thursday paper does obtain for them some cred with Marsh, Kroger, Lo Bill's, Meier, O'Malia's and any other grocery advertising their wares for the Friday payday. I suppose it counts for circulation numbers (about which most newspapers seem to lie)."

I told Dixon about the Gannett company's infatuation with readership vs. circulation. That inspired him to quote Oswald Spengler, author of "The Decline of the West":

"....The few sciences that have kept the old fineness, depth, and energy of conclusion and deduction and have not been tainted with journalism-and few indeed they are, for theoretical physics, mathematics, Catholic dogma, and perhaps jurisprudence exhaust the list-address themselves to a very narrow and chosen band of experts."

"We all need to seek to avoid the taint of journalism." says Dixon.


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