First day back from Furlough

On my post about going on Furlough was this comment:

“I know firsthand that a furlough is not easy to take, It has happened to me and I feel for Mr. Snowflak. However, one needs to contemplate the reason readership is down. The Daily Record (Gannett) and many other media outlets simply do not report news impartially. For the most part, there is a liberal bias. There is no denying this and the average reader is tired of it. The average reader sees through the bias and now gets its news from other sources.”
Peter Zapf.

Well, Peter, it really is a tough argument to make that readership is down because of a perceived _ often an imagined _ liberal bias. In fact, we have more “readers” than ever. It’s just that they read the “paper” on-line for nothing. That’s a dilemma, but it has nothing to do with any alleged bias. Nor did a “bias” cause the economic slump.


About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

11 Responses to First day back from Furlough

  1. writeofway says:

    This is how Peter’s rational would apply to other companies–or the state of New Jersey, which employed furloughs as well.

    Perhaps, we should we blame the state’s implementation of furlough’s on their poor performance in handling the budget.

    The same with municipalities.

    I guess Peter is getting his news and education about furloughs from the liberal media.

    But in return, I’m sure the liberal media thanks him for his online readership where he can voice his opinion for free.

    Let “furloughs” fly and long live a free press!

  2. P says:

    Fred is right, it has nothing to do with bias, perceived or otherwise.

    Newspapers made a HUGE mistake at the “dawn” of the Internet Age and gave away their product with the promise that “eyeballs” and advertising would make up for circulation fees. Oops, advertising rates never came close to making up for the lost revenue and new services like completely sapped one of small and mid-size newspapers’ most reliable source of revenue – classified ads.

    Sadly, we will continue to see a contraction in the news business (papers & TV), and that will NOT be a good thing for the USA.

    P.S. Welcome back Fred. We missed you!

  3. Ted says:

    I can agree that newspapers made a marketing mistake but the basic definition of marketing is “Product, Price, Place and Promotion”.

    Both Fred and Pbrain addressed the “Price” function only. Yes, readers prefer free and the revenue/cost structure definitely changed with the net but the product needed to adjust as well. Newspaper journalists are moving from pure punditry to a conversational mode.

    The Internet (the place) gives advertisers very specific information about reader demographics; their likes, dislikes and shopping habits.

    Promotion appears to be a work in progress. In the early days of the World Wide Web, promotion involved listing with the most popular search engine but now seems to involve journalist popularity and their ability to interact

  4. P says:

    Once again, a lecture from School Master Ted that eats many electrons, but provides no value. What does all the gibberish mean? Will newspapers thrive, survive, or die? And if they survive, how will they do it? Only the Shadow knows.

  5. Ted says:

    Pbrain, the point isn’t whether newspapers survive, it’s how te media adapts to reality. Are you suggesting The ONLY problem is that papers need to improve the readership/revenue ratio?

    And is it a contradiction between papers and TV? I’ve noticed editorial differences between newspapers ie the NY Times and Post. Also, there seem to be differences between MSNBC and FOX. That’s a problem?

    What exactly is your clear, concise message, Pbrain?

  6. P says:

    Once again, I will offer $100 to anyone who can make sense of Ted’s statements and/or questions. I stand speechless until then. Is that clear and concise enough?! 😉

  7. Ted says:

    Pbrain, we simply want to know if you think the DR’s problem is mismanagement of its income statement and why you think all newspapers have the same editorial viewpoint. which is diametrically opposed to the viewpoint of all TV stations…. and why contradictory viewpoints are bad for America (tr-read post #2).

    Send the $100 to the DR. Fred can keep half and he’ll forward the rest to me

  8. P says:

    Another swing and a miss. Fourth time’s the charm? Maybe if you really read my post, composed your thoughts and typed s-l-o-w-e-r we could understand your POV. Until then, color me confused.

    P.S. I’m really puzzled about the “contradictory viewpoints” question. Wasn’t in any of my posts. The word I used was “contraction.” Look up the definition and get back to us.

  9. Ted says:

    And I quote the Pbrain “Sadly, we will continue to see a contraction in the news business (papers & TV), and that will NOT be a good thing for the USA”.

    I assume your check is in the mail

  10. P says:

    Never compared the editorial viewpoint of newspapers to TV, and contraction in the news business means that all traditional media are “shrinking.” Contradiction/Contradictory, the words you used, mean “opposite points of view!” I believe you’ve now confused yourself. Start over from Post #2 and read through c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y.

    And no, the money is still in my pocket, where it will stay because no one, including you!, can figure you out!

  11. Morris Optimist says:

    I recommend reading the recent book “The Death and Life of American Journalism,” by McChesney and Waterman. It offers an extensive overview of all the issues facing the traditional and newer media outlets. It’s available at the Morris County Library. Better yet, buy a copy for yourself.

    Unfortunately, furloughs are becoming more and more common in the industry, but they’re still better than layoffs and closed newspapers. I know of a support group in Essex County for journalists/media people looking for jobs. These people have outstanding credentials and experience at top magazines and newspapers. There just aren’t any openings. Freelancing pays so little that it is almost impossible to make a living. I can read newspapers on line, but I BUY newspapers to help support local journalism.

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