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Can you spell “paradigm shift”?

An editorial in yesterday’s Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal:

12/7/2009 12:47:00 PM

Newspapers remain vital to readers


Jack Miles


….Hardly a week goes by when I fail to read something by some schmuck with a blog who believes his own stories about newspapers coming to an end. But get real. If that ever came to pass, what would replace newspapers? Bloggers? Some of them are nothing more than political wonk wannabees who would be happy to rail – either being always conservative or always liberal – about one idea or another, but would they be willing to stand for hours on a country road to tell the story of a suicidal man and his standoff with law enforcers? Would they print photos of proud young men and women who have joined the military? Would they stay awake while sitting at long school board or council meetings?….

“…some schmuck with a blog…” Heh. Evidently he was not referring to us. We do that standing for long hours thing, go through public records, cover events and type transcripts, research, you name it.

Yesterday we posted a story on another subject, and while doing a bit of research we came across the content shown in the following excerpt:

The transcript:

….Uh, the four things, really, that, that my staff and I try to do. Um, number one, we try to develop partnerships with our media that are win win. Um, and I’ll give you an example when, when dealing with the different mediums. Um, what we’ve done, and, and it’s gonna be more work if you take this back to your campus and some of you may already do it, but, but our media relations staff actually writes the stories, uh, on our teams. And not just our basketball teams, our football teams, uh, our bowling program, when our track and field team is out at a meet. Uh, they write the stories, our media relations staff, which consists of one full time person and one graduate assistant. Uh, we take the photos. And we get the quotes from our coaches. And then we send that story in, uh, to the paper.

And obviously there’s a tremendous benefit, uh, from the standpoint that our message is delivered the way we want it delivered. But, the benefit from their standpoint is they get a story. And, and if, if they don’t run a story on us, uh, obviously they’re, they’re subscribers are gonna be concerned that they’re not getting information on the university. So, in essence, we’ve become a de facto member of, of the newspaper staff, uh, because of the fact that they’re just not staffed. And so we, we try to do that, uh, not just once a week, twice a week, we do that with every single event, uh, that our athletic programs are involved in.

The other thing we’ve done with the local newspaper is we’ve actually established, uh, a trade out with them, uh, from a marketing standpoint. Um, our newspaper, uh, obviously the biggest thing they want to do right now is get more subscribers. They want to increase their circulation. So they advertise through us, uh, through our game programs and, and banners and announcements at the games, things of that nature. What the give us is advertising on Fridays, Every Friday on our local paper we receive a nice ad that has all of our athletic events for the upcoming weekend and week. Uh, for example, if we don’t have an event, it’s a summer time, well then we’re gonna promote our big athletic auction that’s coming up in August. Buy your tickets now. Uh, you want to be a part of this gala event. So we’re always able to use that advertising. So in essence we trade advertising with the newspaper, uh, on a weekly basis….

And to what “local paper” is he referring? Just asking.

We all know what we are, now we’re just haggling over the price.

Cited in the Columbia Journalism Review as Irony du jour:

Let’s Abolish ‘Citizen Journalists’

….We advocate abolishing the term “citizen journalist.” These people can call themselves “citizen news gatherers,” but it is no more appropriate to call them citizen journalists than it would be to sit before a citizen judge or be operated on by a citizen brain surgeon….

Or have a professional stenographer run press releases verbatim without attribution. How about standing before a judge who has had ex parte dealings with one of the parties in a case? Or maybe dealing with a doctor who isn’t very good at the doctor bit, but gets on because peers don’t want to rock the accountability boat. Welcome to our world.

Nature abhors a vacuum. Look, we love newspapers and what they used to do and stand for. We just wish they’d do their job better.

Quick, someone convene a panel on blogger ethics.