by J.A. Anderson
2009 VIEW: Tough times for not so ‘locally’ based corporate chain papers has meant the discerning post-economic-crash ‘press’ consumer has, perhaps, begun to read through their irresponsible lines with their pocket books.
The LA Times (Tribune Co. owned) has declared bankruptcy, the Star Free Press (Scripps closed Ventura offices) is in the process of stripping out 20 more employees, VCReporter (Southland Publications chain-based in Pasadena) is shrinking its pages, seeking interns, and one of their editors is actively looking for employment elsewhere. They’re also having difficulty communicating with area merchants.
Has anyone noticed the Ojai Valley News (Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Buchanan Communications-based chain paper) recently reduced the width of its paper from 13 11/16” to 11 15/16”? Shrewd... And one of their prime 'star' writers has called it splittsville, permanently and for far elsewhere away from the Ojai Valley...
Could it be that these corporate chains have become overindulgent, fat, lazy and put themselves in the position of requiring an emergency intervention diet of light vittles, cornmeal and grits? (outside money). Surely every so often you’ll see one (or two or three) of these chains eat one healthy apple (in the form of a 1/2 way... decent... well-intended-by the-writer, news story), but that’s all make believe facade intended to keep their paper mache rep. looking "hard-news" healthy.
When Otis Chandler retired as owner of the L.A. Times he was not happy when, later in 1999 as seen from his retirement in Ojai, the other controlling interest side of the Times' family down in L.A., formally made the editorial dept. accountable to the advertising dept. This meant Times news gathering was further watered down in deference to the big bucks corporate Times advertisers’ whim. And boy did they whim...Otis was particularly not happy at this sell out and ROARED to reporters at the time that Times management had been “unbelievably stupid”. LINK: Staples Center Fiasco.
No wonder the U.S. of A. has been getting a lemonsqueezing all these years... What with Wall Street’s cozy “wink-wink” love affair with the look-the-other-way corporate- media and corrupt government – ah the vestiges of zero press accountability ala No Rules Wall Street free-for-all.... One need only scan their littered pages to notice that there is a distinct absence of hard news and a Plethora of Press Releases (PR - propaganda) presented as “news” stories, ie: [LINK: Newspaper Theft VIDEO --> Ventura Breeze], others, etc. But wait, show pity?
Perhaps it’s not the mainstream media to blame? Perhaps they have simply become a complacent and willing victim of greedy corporations and bad governance.... As in the Stockholm Syndrome (remember Patty Hearst?); a psychological response sometimes seen in an abducted hostage (corporate media), in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker (greedy business and improper government influence), regardless of the danger or risk in which they have placed themselves. An object of pity or...
...Could watered down corporate rags simply and finally be getting their just due from too many years of business as usual (soft news peddling) in their unnatural sleepover with big government and payola-corporations?
Time will tell... Look and Listen... can you hear the soul sucking sound? – Joel Anderson, editor
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