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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Rock, Paper, Scissors

It’s been a busy week for the newspaper world.

To start off, the New York Times declared it will reduce the width of the paper by one and a half inches in early 2008. Just in time for the presidential election, its narrow political focus will be matched by a narrow design.

The move will save money on newsprint and appeal to 21st century readers, who prefer the more convenient size.

It also provides a convenient excuse—lack of space!—for neglecting to cover conservative-friendly stories. Of course, Fox News may counter by handing the channel’s editorial decisions directly to the Republican National Committee.

The Wall Street Journal is also making changes. The paper announced yesterday that it will allow advertising on its front page for the first time this fall—a step that might bring in tens of millions of additional dollars.

Imagine the possibilities. We may see a story about a new corporate scandal accompanied by plugs for the embattled company’s products, or a feature on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paired with Windows ads.

You could even spill your coffee on a Starbucks ad.

Maybe the New York Times will follow suit. Of course, the paper will soon have to sell only skinny ads. Probably for weight-loss programs. Or Chilean tourism.

Some other proposed changes to print media:

Indoor delivery: I’m sick of finding my newspapers strewn across the metro area. To raise circulation in the Internet era, papers should offer personal delivery to subscriber’s beds each morning. And breakfast in bed would be nice, too.

Smear-free newsprint: Honestly, people, we’re able to build a space station and manipulate DNA … why can’t develop an economical way to print newspapers that don’t leave our fingertips black?

More wise-ass columns: Let’s get some fresh authors with humorous perspectives on world events and pop culture into the mainstream media.

I wonder if anyone fits that description.

36 Comments:

At July 19, 2006 10:04 AM, Blogger Lee Ann replied to my musings ...

Thank you for stopping over, it was nice to see you. I hope you will come by more often.

 
At July 19, 2006 10:32 AM, Blogger KC replied to my musings ...

I have nothing witty to say. Sorry. Not enough caffeine yet, I guess.

My hubby works for a weekly alternative newspaper (read: liberal), but I read his paper online because I can't stand the "feel" of newsprint. Really. I find it very gross. I get all my news online or on TV. I haven't picked up a paper in years.

 
At July 19, 2006 2:32 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard replied to my musings ...

Reducing the size of the NYT will have tragic unforeseen consequences:

1) Domestic birds--whose cages are often lined by yesterday's NYT--will have to be trained to aim their poop on a smaller, narrower target.

This may require genetic engineering.

2) Fish will presumably remain the same size. The new thinner paper might not wrap all the way around the fish, resulting in unsanitary fish.

3) I often use newspaper to stuff my shoes and keep them stretched out. A thinner paper will not stretch out the shoes as much, resulting in more corns.

Dr. Shoal, take note. And buy some space on the front page of the WSJ!!!

 
At July 19, 2006 2:39 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Lee Ann, KC: Thanks for visiting. KC, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one thinking the way I do about the newsprint.

ZW: Very creative -- I wish I'd thought of those. I always use newspaper to wrap breakables when I move. I guess I'll need to wrpa less ... or use a different newspaper!

-- david

 
At July 19, 2006 4:13 PM, Blogger OnMyWatch replied to my musings ...

I love newspapers. And I look forward to reading your fresh new views on pop culture. much more interesting than just the Jumble and Horoscope. :)

 
At July 19, 2006 6:09 PM, Blogger Scarlett replied to my musings ...

SMEAR FREE NEWSPRINT! I agree - its insane that we can't figure out the simple things like newsprint issues yet we can sit here and commincate via these boxes on our desk!!!

I can not stand touching a newspaper, I don't even read them anymore because they just feel gross and filthy to me.

Another insightful post from David Amulet.

 
At July 19, 2006 10:10 PM, Blogger The Phoenix replied to my musings ...

Sounds like your ideal media is a blog.

 
At July 19, 2006 11:14 PM, Blogger :P fuzzbox replied to my musings ...

If the idea of thinner paper takes off overseas, I wonder if the page three girls will get skinnier and less shapely. That would be criminal.

 
At July 19, 2006 11:54 PM, Blogger Gyrobo replied to my musings ...

Don't forget, they keep trimming the number of comics. Every year, the comics get smaller and fewer, until eventually, we'll all be speaking sim.

 
At July 20, 2006 12:32 AM, Blogger angel, jr. replied to my musings ...

Blogs should be the new media!!

 
At July 20, 2006 7:04 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

OMW: Great, now I'm blushing.

Scarlett: I was just reading the paper -- and now I'm getting ink smears on my laptop keys. Dammit!

Phoenix, Angel Jr.: Yes, the blog is ideal, but with one correction, Phoenix: steady blogging should pay.

Fuzz: This falls under the "Unintended Consequences" file. Thankfully, however, it might help Kirstie Alley in her eternal weight loss quest.

Gyrobo: I can live without most comics. "The Far Side" was the last one I read with any consistency.

-- david

 
At July 20, 2006 8:48 AM, Blogger siren replied to my musings ...

If there were more wise-ass columns (intentional, that is), I'd be more apt to pick up a newspaper. Maybe we could do a write-in campaign for you!

 
At July 20, 2006 9:16 AM, Blogger Curare_Z replied to my musings ...

I'm with Siren. I vote for Amulet.

 
At July 20, 2006 9:46 AM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

Re: More wise-ass columns--

I couldn't agree more, with the retirement of Dave Barry from writing his syndicated column the humor quotient of newspapers has all but disappeared.

 
At July 20, 2006 9:53 AM, Blogger Janet replied to my musings ...

Wait, less paper but more time to be a wise ass?

Someone pinch me cause I must be dreaming.:)

 
At July 20, 2006 10:31 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Siren, Curare: Aw, shucks. Now you're gonna make me care about my readers again!

Perplexio: Dave B. deserves a break. he must've written about 80 billion humor essays by now.

Janet: Thanks for visiting. Most folks feel that visiting this site is a dream--of the nightmare variety, sadly ... Welcome.

-- david

 
At July 20, 2006 10:33 AM, Blogger Mimi replied to my musings ...

I would subscribe to any paper that served breakfast in bed. If it is a narrowminded paper that does not print newsworthy stories I will save it for housebreaking a puppy.

 
At July 20, 2006 10:41 AM, Blogger Laurie replied to my musings ...

I cancelled my subscription to the Detroit News because the carrier couldn't even manage to get the paper on the porch (much less my bed, LOL) - instead, I would find it at the end of my driveway, sometimes all wet.

 
At July 20, 2006 11:58 AM, Blogger cube replied to my musings ...

heh heh. I vote for you as columnist.

 
At July 20, 2006 12:15 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

I agree Dave Barry needs a break, I was more commenting that no one has really stepped up to fill the void he left when he retired and newspapers are suffering as a result.

 
At July 20, 2006 2:18 PM, Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen replied to my musings ...

"Let’s get some fresh authors with humorous perspectives on world events and pop culture into the mainstream media."

You have my vote!!! ;)

 
At July 20, 2006 2:34 PM, Blogger Kid Jacque replied to my musings ...

More wise-ass columns are for sure the way to go... I concur.

You have been link-a-fied....

 
At July 20, 2006 3:41 PM, Blogger Blonde Vigilante replied to my musings ...

Yes, please all of that. I don't want a lot of conservative writing...how about just the fucking facts. How about I don't want your opinion (not yours..the papers). I want the facts and I'll make my own damned opinion. That is all.

 
At July 20, 2006 4:49 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Mimi, Laurie: I wonder if Laurie's paper at the end of the driveway was wet b/c Mimi's dog peed on it.

Cube, Stacy: Ok, now I just need for someone here to actually work at a paper!

Perplexio: I knew what you meant; I was just taking it to the next level. Sorry I wasn't clear. This shows why talking is almost always better than e-mailing ...

DD: Thanks! And you know I'll do my part to keep wise-ass a part of wisdom.

BV: I share your disgust. Too often we are pandered to as if we can't think for ourselves. And that only describes me about 30% of the time, dammit!

-- david

 
At July 20, 2006 5:13 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

For humor in newsprint I get more entertainment out of The Reader. They have Dan Savage's "Savage Love" sexual advice column which is usually guaranteed to make me laugh or recoil in disgust (usually I'm recoiling in disgust with myself for laughing at it) as well as Dan Cannon's Red Meat comic strip and their Missed Connections section is a real hoot too (classified ads for people who believe they shared a moment with that cutie/hottie on a certain El ride) which is just as fun as people-watching at the airport!

 
At July 20, 2006 6:48 PM, Blogger Pavel replied to my musings ...

Two thumbs up on the idea of ink not smudging over everything.

As for a wise ass columnist... Well... (lol) I could think of at least one!

 
At July 20, 2006 7:48 PM, Blogger Karen replied to my musings ...

guess i'm fortunate here, my paper is delivered to my paper tube in mint condition ninety-nine percent of the time. i love blogs and get most of my news on the internets but don't think i could ever forgo my newspaper, it's my blankie! :-)

 
At July 20, 2006 11:59 PM, Blogger Pixie replied to my musings ...

David thanks so much for the concern yes we are fine all we lost was a fridge freezer full of food due to the power outage. It came back on tonight @ 6.30 pm

Yay!! Air conditioning !!!

Thanks once again.

 
At July 21, 2006 12:13 AM, Blogger fatty ~ replied to my musings ...

if you were a wisecrack columnist in a mainstream newspaper you wouldnt be fresh for long. Though if u start a cult.. i suppose u wont have to worry about that.

=P

 
At July 21, 2006 5:52 AM, Blogger An80sNut replied to my musings ...

I'm up for staples to hold it together because I hate having to refold it over and over again. Making it the New York Times smaller does reflect it's marketshare.

 
At July 21, 2006 8:38 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Some very different views on newspapers here, probably reflecting the change as papers struggle to survive in the Internet age!

Pixie: Glad you are OK. It looked like St. Louis got hit pretty bad.

Fatty: That's it! I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier--I need to found a cult. Those always end well.

80s Nut: Just imagine all the staple-related injury lawsuits!

-- david

 
At July 22, 2006 3:26 PM, Blogger missy replied to my musings ...

Hi David,

I've added you in my blogroll! I've got you on my RSS feed so I know when you have posted but sometimes I don't have time to visit blogs but when I do, I do a good catch-up!

missy xx

 
At July 22, 2006 3:28 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn replied to my musings ...

I agree with your changes. The smudging newsprint really should be a thing of the past.

I hope the New York Times just keeps shrinking and shrinking.

 
At July 24, 2006 7:53 AM, Blogger DaBich replied to my musings ...

Hey, you have my vote too!

 
At July 24, 2006 10:05 AM, Anonymous LisaBinDaCity replied to my musings ...

David, you are a riot! I'm so glad you wandered on over. Let me know when you are coming next time and I'll make you a cup of coffee

Oh and can you bring in the newspaper in with you please? ;-)

 
At July 25, 2006 5:42 PM, Anonymous mojotek replied to my musings ...

"More wise-ass columns: Let’s get some fresh authors with humorous perspectives on world events and pop culture into the mainstream media."

Hallelujah! I concur!

 

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