Re: [OM] Sun-Times

Subject: Re: [OM] Sun-Times
From: Ken Norton <ken@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 31 May 2013 13:04:11 -0600
> I understand the problems newspapers face, but I think history will look
> unkindly on the diffusion of sources of news and information, and the
> cultural changes that sap us of time to read.

There are two diffusions involved: Diffusion of the sourcing of
material and the diffusion of distribution.

Souce diffusion is where the actual news gathering is in the hands of
many instead of the few. In the "olden days" if a staff photographer
and writer and/or ringer wasn't there, it didn't happen. Now that
everybody has a cellphone with a camera, we have more "news" than ever

Distribution diffusion is the other aspect to this. The consumers of
news have more places to get it from than ever before. No longer is
there a virtual monopoly on news. Whereas that one staff newspaper
photographer may have taken a picture that 75% of the population (of
the distribution coverage area) may see, now it's a tiny fraction.
It's been almost two decades since I've gotten a newspaper
subscription. It's been several years since we've even had TV news. We
don't even have TV to speak of. I still have far more sources of news
than I had even two years ago.

It's easy to lament the onslaught of the freelancers, but in reality,
those freelancers have been replaced by the general populace.
EVERYBODY is a source now.

But to look at this in another light, how many of those staff
newspaper photographers actually made a decent living? Very few. In
the business world, people who are as low paid as the typical news
photographer will get little to no respect by management. "If they are
so stupid to work for that little of pay, then they are too stupid to
keep around" is the mentality.

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