Archive for the ‘online’ Category

US newspapers need to reinvent themselves … fast

March 17, 2009

US newspapers are in a state “perilously close to free fall” and time is running short for them to find a business model and reinvent themselves, according to a study released on Monday.

by Chris Lefkow

The Pew Research Center?s Project for Excellence in Journalism said its 2009 report on the State of the News Media was the “bleakest” it has issued since it began doing the annual studies six years ago.

The report examined newspapers, online media, network, cable and local television news as well as news magazines, radio and the ethnic press.

As the study was released, Hearst Corp., publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, announced it was ending the print edition of the money-losing 146-year-old newspaper on Tuesday and going online only.

The Pew report found that US weekly news magazines and daily newspapers are particularly troubled. “The newspaper industry exited a harrowing 2008 and entered 2009 in something perilously close to free fall,” its authors said.

Nevertheless, they said, “we still do not subscribe to the theory that the death of the industry is imminent,” noting that the industry overall “in 2008 remained profitable.”

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When Will the Transparent Obama Administration Put the Stimulus Online?

January 28, 2009

The Obama administration has talked of an intention to put the stimulus bill online for the American people to read before it’s voted on, which is commendable.

But where is it? Apparently in the same place as the press briefing transcripts. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about when the bill would go online, and replied that it would be available between the time the bill is in its final form and when President Obama signs it.

As Gibbs and anyone with a passing interest in politics knows, that’s around about the exact time that having it online will no longer matter. The American people will not be able to make much of a difference in the crafting of the bill at that point. All of the negotiations will have taken place. All the pork will have been traded. All the boondoggles agreed upon and on their way to the President’s desk before the American people get a look at much of it.

If you want a look at it before everything has been decided, a group of right-leaning bloggers and organizations offers a searchable version of the 1,500-page stimulus at Read more than a few pages, and I can almost guarantee you’ll be ahead of your representative in Congress. And, you may even find a few gems that Obama will direct Democrats to jettison, just as he did the millions for contraception.

That should be the Republican strategy for getting most ridiculous liberal provisions jettisoned, by the way. Have Nancy Pelosi pitch each idea in the most unpleasant, tin-eared way possible on the Sunday shows and pile on with criticism until Obama backs away from the idea, as he will from anything that’s mildly politically unpopular, especially with this first, important bill.


On January 21, President Obama signed an Executive Order requiring ethics commitments for officials of his administration. As has been covered here, that commitment has already been compromised.

Interestingly however, the ‘Ethics’ section of the White House website went down that day, ostensibly to be updated to reflect the president’s initiative. Six days later, that page is still down. Go there today and you find this message:


The ethics section is currently being revised to reflect President Obama’s Executive Order concerning Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel, issued on January 21, 2009. Please check back soon.


Six days later and the website still hasn’t been updated? This EO has been in the works for months. Furthermore, none of the other ‘agenda’ pages has been pulled down. According to Roll Call, this is what you found on the page before it went dark:


…the new White House Web site — launched just after President Barack Obama was inaugurated Tuesday — included a list of ethics reform proposals that would apply to Congress, including new earmark disclosure guidelines, requirements for public mark-ups of legislation and a call for a new Senate office to investigate ethics complaints. The last idea had been voted down in the Senate during the 110th Congress.


I wonder why it’s down for such a long time — at least in Internet terms — and what will (or won’t) be there when it goes back up.

Tis the Season for Porn?

December 21, 2008

I will be called names for writing this column. It always happens. Raise the issue of the pornification of the culture and its fanatical devotees will come gunning for you. If they hope to be intimidating, they’ve forgotten what delete keys are for.

It’s Christmastime and the Fox News Channel, the most conservative of the major media outlets, is running an ad for PajamaGrams, “the only gift guaranteed to get your wife or girlfriend to take her clothes off.” The ads feature soft porn images of women disrobing and tossing slips and bras to the floor. The ads run at all times of the day and night. Thus do we usher in the season supposedly devoted to the Prince of Peace and the Festival of Lights.

We all know how far the pornification has gotten. A mainstream movie apparently treats the subject as cute and fun (“Zack and Miri Make a Porno“) and it runs at the multiplex next to “Four Christmases” and “Madagascar.” Hotels offer pornographic movies and omit the titles from the final bill. Victoria’s Secret graces every mall — and its windows resemble the red light district of Amsterdam. Viagra and its imitators are hawked ceaselessly. Television, music videos, and supermarket checkout magazines contain the kinds of suggestive words and images that would once have been labeled soft porn.

Women work in the red light district, Amsterdam (file pic)

We know this. But what is less well understood is the world of hard-core porn that was once the province of dingy “adults only” stores in the harsher parts of town but is now available to everyone at the click of a mouse.

Last week the Witherspoon Institute ( convened a conference on pornography at Princeton University and invited scholars from a variety of fields to contribute. The statistics are mind-numbing. Pamela Paul, author of “Pornified,” reported that “Americans rent upwards of 800 million pornographic videos and DVDs per year. About one in five rented videos is porn. … Men look at pornography online more than they look at any other subject. And 66 percent of 18-34 year old men visit a pornographic site every month.”
By Mona Charin

 Holiday sex: Christmas season is peak for mating

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