Nothing new here; move along

Dateline: Fri 09 Jul 2010

From reader/writer Tom Henderson (check out his column in Indianapolis Business Journal) comes this story from Business Insider The Wire, titled "A Quick Primer On The Newspaper Collapse":

You already know the drill, but it is still sobering:

Since 2007, there have been about 35,000 job losses or buyouts in newspapers.

And...166 newspapers have ceased operations or quit producing a print/paper since 2008.

And...the U.S. print sector lost more than 24,500 jobs between September 2008 and September 2009.

Star reporters now punch a time clock; oh the humiliation.

Oh, well.  That flushing sound you here? Democracy going down the tubes...well, not entirely. Blogs and some media personalities are alive and kicking.

But the glory days for the old newspaper: game over, man. Enjoy yourself, corporate c---suckers. (Quoting the Star's former racing columnist/writer Robin Miller). (Although I don't believe he ever said..."enjoy yourselves...")




Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Maybe a bailout is in order. Seriously.

2010-07-09 13:40:00

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

I recognize the following is not concerning the major issue in this blog post, but.....

Who can forget Rockin' Robin? Spent an hour a day writing his column, then headed out to the golf course for the rest of the day.

Not everything about "Old Star" was wonderful. I guess that's an understatement.
Nostalgia makes us remember the good things and forget the bad things.

2010-07-09 14:05:00

ruthholl [Member] said:

WB, this is so true. I was appalled at the lack of discipline when I first arrived at the Star, from Scripps-Howard. It was pretty loose, to say the least.
Also, I often felt the Pulliams were patronizing to employees. I know they were generous in many ways, but it was not ideal to have a workplace where you had a job for life, no matter how badly you behaved...
I did appreciate Bo Connor, tho. I liked the atmosphere in the newsroom under his era. He was willing to say, "try it..." and he was supportive to some of the younger guys, like my buddy Nick Crews, a lowly copy messenger.
Ah, but I do agree with you: we romanticize a lot of it....

2010-07-09 14:18:09

hendy [Member] said:

Today, we're on the web. My column is on the web. I tweeted it, and announced it on Facebook. This afternoon, I did a webcast for The Pulse Network on tech topics. They don't let me do politics, fortunately for them.

Newsprint is dying, but news is not. I sold a bunch of equipment on Craigslist because The Star has no chance of reaching obvious consumers of what I was selling. In turn, I purchased a bunch of stuff from eBay this week for my antique motorcycle. Nope, can't find that stuff in The Star anymore.

The I got my dose of liberal shame from my RSS feeder, pointed at So it goes, folks.

2010-07-09 21:04:46

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"Blogs and some media personalities are alive and kicking."

Hardly a substitute for newspapers. Absent the resources of a newspaper spending time doing in-depth, you largly have opinion content.

Suppose there was no Washington Post to pay Woodward and Bernstein for their weeks of work; would RMN have finished his term? Would the Pentagon Papers have made their impact if published only on a blogsite?

Electronic media have captured the market at the expense of literacy and bona fide journalism. (And while I am on my Luddite rant, science has proven there is no such thing as multi-tasking without a price-- you cannot do two things at once equally well-- and the damn cells are killing the bees, which in turn will kill our grown food.)

The demise of newspapers is a consequence of the 21st century's adoration of eletronic communications, and not in small part, the preoccupation with social networking and "staying in touch throughout our busy schedules."

Talking has replaced thinking, the 10-second attention span has replaced reflection, and the x-box has replaced the outdoors.

I must be getting older because I clearly am getting grumpier.

2010-07-10 07:25:35

hendy [Member] said:

Not grumpier, rather sedentary and disliking looking at the benefits of understanding technology to get your news, opinions, and market info.

You need to get a nice smartphone, and learn how to txt. Buy also a nice iSomething and listen to podcasts and your favorite music while you're on the treadmill at the gym.

Then get a subscription to Hulu or NetFlix, and download your movies-- now that your laptop can be connected to your HDTV. Afterwards, get on to Facebook and say hi to your friends.

The demise of newspapers is that this word is a compound word. Paper has left. News is forever.

2010-07-10 11:24:24

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"You need to get a nice smartphone, and learn how to txt. Buy also a nice iSomething and listen to podcasts and your favorite music while you're on the treadmill at the gym.

Then get a subscription to Hulu or NetFlix, and download your movies-- now that your laptop can be connected to your HDTV. Afterwards, get on to Facebook and say hi to your friends."

I'd rather have a root canal.

2010-07-10 12:53:03

ruthholl [Member] said:

I'm not even sure what rss feed is...tom????

2010-07-10 17:22:35

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"I'm not even sure what rss feed is"

Ruth, it's hendy talking dirty again.

2010-07-10 19:03:06

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

no, it's the alphabet soup clown who drops in here regularly.

How can you stop that, Ruthie?


Your friend;

eiuwyf perwpny

2010-07-11 17:37:18

indykjsharp [Member] said:

I can't attest to finances but I think everyone's missing the fact that neighborhood newspapers continue to thrive. I enjoy picking up a Broad Ripple Gazette more than The Star a lot of the time. They don't cover the State House or city hall, but at least it's real neighborhood news.
RSS.. Ruth, get your son to save you on this one!

2010-07-11 19:56:23

hendy [Member] said:

Tom's RSS Tutorial

RSS or Really Simple Syndication is a way of getting just headlines and a blurb (lede) from a site on an article or a change that the site wants to make into an easy way to get you updates.

You need an RSS reader to get RSS feeds. Go to to pick one. Download and install it.

You'll see an RSS feed icon on many sites, including the Indpls Star. At The Star, you can find their RSS feeds at Once you find the feeds, drag a feed into your reader. It's that simple. Once a period, (usually a half-hour, and you can set the period), the RSS reader goes out, queries the sites you've chosen, and updates the feeds. Read them, or mark them read.

They flush after a while, you set 'the while'.

Click on a link if you want 'the whole story'. Once you get an RSS feed, you shouldn't get it again. Ooops, The Star doesn't follow this behavior, marking them new frequently (in a mistaken quest to get hits). They're not the only ones that does this. Some give you THE ENTIRE ARTICLE and they're not supposed to (are you listening, Media Matter?). Some might slip in an ad or two.

You can even have an RSS reader search Craigslist for you. Note the RSS bug at the bottom of your favorite search. As an example, I search Craigslist for a certain model of motorcycle. I did the search for the motorcycle, then dragged the RSS bug (icon) at the bottom to my RSS reader. Now IT searches for the motorcycle each half hour or so.

Get an RSS reader today. Very recent versions of Outlook and Apple Mail can do RSS. It's FREE. Costs NOTHING, EVER.

2010-07-11 20:31:37

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

hendy, I swear to god you are greek because I do not understand a word you are saying. JesusRSSreader!?

What's wrong with a f******g newspaper!?

2010-07-11 21:44:41

hendy [Member] said:

Tom, newspapers are fading away.

You have a computer. You understand a web browser. An RSS News Reader is a program that you can download to read news headlines, along with a paragraph/lede.

What's wrong with a newspaper? Essentially, the paper part has made publishers into idiots. Editors, in some cases, too, viz the critiques seen here. Yes, ok, some writers are plainly daft, too. The F'ing newspapers aren't really the problem. What's misunderstood here is that the PAPER part is gone.

There are indeed lots of tomes with great depth, great investigative work, and really referential (as opposed to: pulled this out of my butt) journalism going on on the web. Yes, you have to sift through it, but with an RSS Reader application, you can very easily sift through the bullis crappis and get to where you need/want to go.

Where does Hendy go? My feeds come from The Star, CNN, NYTimes, BBC, SF Chronicle (business and world), and numerous tech sites. There are political sites, news sites galore, and tons of non-news sites.

Even my website has an RSS feed. However, it hasn't had any news in, well, months. You can subscribe to my site, and when something changes, your RSS Reader will say-- hey look! Hendy actually updated his site (as if anyone cares).

For further info, go to type in RSS into the search blank. Go from there. I'm nearing 60 yrs old. But like others, I adapt. I can still shift a 3, 5, or even 23 speed transmission, and do really ancient stuff, like test a tube. I can probably shoe a horse. And I get my news online, because the Indy Star isn't work squat. Long ago, I had a subscription. There is no value to it; you've fooled yourself by habituating the masochistic exercise of reading through that pile of daily crap to get what you really wanted in the first place, believing that that's what you're doing today. You won't know the difference until you've made the leap. And you won't look back. And you'll be happier for it. Learning this stuff isn't without pain and thinking outside of the box.

You can do it. Ask any young person. They'll be flattered you asked.

2010-07-11 22:14:48

Whitebeard [unverified] said:

I don't pretend to be an expert in these discussions, but I can see both sides of this little mini-debate.

Newspapers are primarily crap these days. Most of them should be funded by Chamber of Commerces because they're shameless cheerleaders for the Power Elite in their cities (The Star being no exception).

On the other hand....I spend as little time on my computer as possible. I don't think it's healthy - either psychologically or physically.

I remember when the blogs got going and all this talk about how they were going to replace newspapers/TV news/radio etc.

But most of them are weak, contain little information of any real signifance, and are opinion-dominant.

Ruth's fine blog is an exception to the rule.

2010-07-12 14:42:23

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