What Scalzi Said

If you’re going down anyway, make it mean something:

Well, now playing it safe isn’t working anymore. The question is
whether there is anyone like Bellows still around to help newspapers
renew their mission, possibly to resurrect the things, or if the people
like Bellows have already largely left the field, leaving only a class
of barely-adequate middle managers for editors, who will shuffle staff
until they’re the only ones left to turn out the lights. I’m a huge
believer in the need for newspapers, and of course as a former
newspaperman, I have a sentimental attachment to them as well. Iwantnewspapers
(with or without the actual paper). But I’m not sure if newspapers
generally know what they’re about anymore, or if those in charge of
them are willing to rouse themselves to rage against their own dying of
the light.
Maybe those remaining should look back at Bellows, and see
how he did it.

Emphasis mine. It’s astonishing how much of this is about the willingness to work and to fight and to scrap and to scrape. It’s astonishing how much you can get accomplished if you stop rocking back and forth in the corner whining about how you can’t, and it’s too hard, and nobody will listen, and nobody will do it. If you just stop hamstringing yourself for one single second and pick up a pen it’s amazing how many problems you can actually solve.


2 thoughts on “What Scalzi Said

  1. Like, say, launchingan e-reader that your newspapers can use as a publishing platform? How’s this for a model: Give me one of those gizmos on which to download my local rag every morning (Cleve. P.D.), charge $5/month for it (instead of 15 for the dead tree version Istopped subscribing to) with a 2 year contract and you have just: A) Offered your readers an enormous discount B) Gotten rid of ALL printing & distribution costs C) Given advertisers a gee-whiz platform on which to buy space D) Guaranteed your revenue stream for 24 months instead of 1.
    I don’t know if that would work but isn’t it amazing that no one besides FUCKING BLOG COMMENTERS are even trying to think through this stuff?

  2. Seconding what Dan said – I think P.O.D. technology could be a big help in reviving newspapers. Of course, there’s a downside – dumping all printing and distribution costs means dumping all printing and distributionjobs.
    Another thing newspapers might want to consider is doing some actual reporting. Want to prove you’re still relevant? Well, then, do something relevant. Stop mouthing GOP talking points all day long and fuck up some oligarchs’ collective shit.

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