white noise

by David McGee

white noise

Can you hear me?

A new research study being released today shows that the great majority of attention toward the economy and it’s less-than-graceful plummet was focused on Washington and the banking and auto industries, with less attention aimed towards those who matter: the people using the banks and driving the cars. The study, conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism reviewed nearly 10,000 reports from newspapers, online news websites, radio and television between Feb. 1 and Aug 31 revealing 40 percent of coverage hit towards the actions of those in Washington pushing legislation for auto and banking industry needs. Another 12 percent of media coverage was granted to unemployment and housing. And of the 10,000 or so media reports audited, 500 of them paid attention to those who are feeling the economic crisis. The associate director of the Pew Project, Mark Jurkowitz, explains this “oversight” as the result of national news coverage taking the easier route and covering Washington rather “than to fan out around the country and measure the impact on real lives.”

Newspaper seeking critic to answer burning questions

The Denver Westword, a respected Colorado alt-weekly, posted an unusual and possibly revolutionary job opening for a marijuana dispensary critic, reviewing the 70 or so dispensaries in Colorado for their weekly online column, “Mile Highs and Lows.” The freelance reviewer would be responsible for providing “an objective resource on the burgeoning medical marijuana scene” by answering basic information questions on price, location, security and the facilities. The focus being on the dispensaries and prices, it seems little attention would be going towards the actual products. Editor Patricia Calhoun stated that a background in the area is a plus but the paper’s real interest is in someone who is a talented writer and thinks analytically adding “you don’t have to smoke pot for 30 years,” said Calhoun.

Google CEO sees hope for newspapers

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has taken a lot flack for being the Death Star to newspapers and the journalism industry. Yet in an interview with Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land Schmidt says that he feels Google has a “moral responsibility” to help, but that newspaper executives shouldn’t expect handouts. Instead he accepts that Google changes reading habits and has impacted the newspaper industry by changing the way people access their news. Schmidt explains that Google is a conduit for people to find quality content and, since Google has no plans to produce their own news content, there is a “moral responsibility” for them to aid journalistic institutions in finding and reporting investigative journalism. Schmidt goes on to explain that in order to survive in the changing field of journalism it is necessary for newspapers to adapt. The key, Schmidt says, is finding new ways of engaging the reader, even if that includes receiving the news in a personalized way on a mobile device where the articles and advertisements are catered to your interests.