Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Is this the future of our local fishwrapper?

For quite awhile now, our local daily has been circling the drain. It started with their over-extension on the new Columbian Building, built based on a theory that flew in the face of reality in a location akin to a ghost town... the heart of the Downtown Vancouver Mafia.

Our local rag's inability to innovate, inflexibility on a far left perspective, insistence on an-ignore-the-people-to-the-point-of-suing-them-into-silence agenda, the many times they've lied or exaggerated concerning the massive waste of an unwanted and unneeded bridge complete with loot rail that no one wants around here... and there is no incentive for anyone but a union hack or fringe left-nut job to actually buy this newspaper and consider it's contents to be anything but fiction.

They are so desperate that they've gone, hat-in-hand, to our own legislature, stuck in the doldrums of a soon-to-be $10 BILLION deficit, and are in the midst of attempting to persuade them that as a business, newspapers are somehow worthy of special consideration and tax breaks that, for example, MY business does not rate.

Newspapers generally, and ultra-leftist rags particularly, are in their death throws. The competition of the Internet and a failure to adapt, a complete lack of fairness, a total inability to grasp the pules of the entirety of the community they're alleged to serve. All of these things combine to hammer this newspaper like a nail.

So, what happens today?

The Leftist Payback Bill is introduced in the US Senate, so that newspapers may CONTINUE to further the leftist cause... and to do so on the taxpayer dime.

This leads me to a quote from a columnist at crosscut.com:

What if a newspaper folded and nobody cared?

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's print edition dies, and while it's a shock to Seattle's sense of specialness, a new study shows that most people don't really care whether their local daily lives or dies. The real buzz is about what's next.

By Knute Berger

No one likes to see the underdog get beaten, but the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, long the David against the Seattle Times newspaper Goliath, just got clobbered. The Blethens are the last men standing in this long-time grudge match, but they're staggering too.

Seattle likes to regard itself as an exceptional place, and staying a two-newspaper town fed our sense that we're something special, a literate, world-class city that could buck the trend that saw most major cities become one-daily burgs. We buy more books, we have more education, we're paragons of the creative class. Members of
Committee for a Two Newspaper Town often made it sound as if having two
daily newspapers was somehow the Platonic ideal of civic enlightenment.


Those obsessing on continuing a failed business model need to get a reality check. Using taxpayer dollars... resulting in an editorial policy set by government loons is not going to appreciably do anything but increase our massive waste of dollars as it is.

Nevertheless, A US Senator (Benjamin Cardin?) that, frankly, I've never heard of, introduced just such a bill.

Lyingly code named the "Newspaper Revitalization Act," it has zero co-sponsors, which tends to show this as a trial balloon by a back-bencher, just to gauge public reaction... which will be, for the most part, condemnatory.

Newspapers are a business. They've been superseded by a new paradigm, much like buggy manufacturers were superseded by those building automobiles.

In the over all scheme of things, vehicle manufacturers are much more important than newspaper publishers. And neither one of them should receive a damned dime in bailouts from the taxpayers.

*I* don't WANT ANY of MY money to go to The Columbian. And based on their abysmal circulation figures, most in this community agree with me.

U.S. bill seeks to rescue faltering newspapers

By Thomas Ferraro

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With many U.S. newspapers struggling to survive, a Democratic senator on Tuesday introduced a bill to help them by allowing newspaper companies to restructure as nonprofits with a variety of tax breaks.

"This may not be the optimal choice for some major newspapers or corporate media chains but it should be an option for many newspapers that are struggling to stay afloat," said Senator Benjamin Cardin.

A Cardin spokesman said the bill had yet to attract any co-sponsors, but had sparked plenty of interest within the media, which has seen plunging revenues and many journalist layoffs.

Cardin's Newspaper Revitalization Act would allow newspapers to operate as nonprofits for educational purposes under the U.S. tax code, giving them a similar status to public broadcasting companies.

Under this arrangement, newspapers would still be free to report on all issues, including political campaigns. But they would be prohibited from making political endorsements.

Advertising and subscription revenue would be tax exempt, and contributions to support news coverage or operations could be tax deductible.


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