June 17, 2008 12:00

White Noise: News and info from inside the media bubble

AP fights back

Bloggers beware: The Associated Press is trying to put you guys in a box. Last week the New York Times reported that the AP will attempt to regulate the way its articles are quoted and linked to online. The news organization, owned by some member newspapers, aggregates and, in some cases, creates content for syndicated use nationwide. It charges a fee for the service. A statement issued Friday says, in part, the AP will contest blog postings of it's copyright-protected material "when we feel the use is more reproduction than reference, or when others are encouraged to cut and paste." AP executives are meeting as of press time to decide what, exactly, that means.

- BC

Advertising works

Earlier this month the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News ran full-page ads for a new and innovative airline. Derrie-Air billed itself as the "world's only carbon-neutral luxury airline" pledged to sell seat space priced by the pound of prospective passengers and their luggage, and gave a website where people could find out more. Only those who read the fine print on the ad learned that it was a fake. But it was also a potent piece of market research designed to prove that, 1) advertising in newspapers actually works, and 2) newspapers can still have some fun. A trip to the website, flyderrie-air.com, reveals the hoax along with some important numbers, gathered over just 24 hours. The site generated more than 2.7 million hits and 210,000 page views, no small potatoes in a day when mouse clicks equal dollars. Also, charging people by the pound is kind of a brilliant idea, isn't it? - BC

Tim Russert, RIP

Last Sunday, NBC broadcast a tribute to the man who made the station a Sunday morning destination for political junkies of all stripes. Tim Russert died Friday of a massive heart attack inside the studio where he sparred weekly with the titans of national politics. As soon as his death was announced, tributes rolled in from presidents both current and former, senators, governors and many of the others who'd had the good fortune to go a few rounds with the Buffalo, NY native. David Carr, the New York Times' media columnist, wonders if Russert's death might not hasten the mainstream media's slide toward irrelevance, or at least reduced relevance, in a media environment increasingly saturated with voices. "The people who run campaigns, newspapers and networks will head to the conventions this summer convinced that the future of the country remains in their hands. But there are clear signs that game is changing. My dad may not ever believe it, but Sunday could end up being just another day of the week." - AK

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