Monday, January 12, 2009

Newspaper Reform

Newspapers should stop devoting resources to cover news conferences on the national level, instead get the wire, the people who call news conferences will never answer any real questions anyway so it’s useless to send a reporter to take notes on a prepared statement. Use that reporter to write an in-depth story that explains the situation in detail. Have the reporter do investigative research, research WILL be necessary!

The entire model has to change. Readers already know what the “news” is, they hear about it or read it online well before the print edition comes out. That means the print edition offers stale “news” that we already heard. What we need is a comprehensive and detailed analysis that can’t be offered by online sites and radio news summaries. The routine stuff like Obama says “x” should be printed from a wire service or a pool of reporters. No way should a reporter from every paper be sent to take dictation.

Local is important, but again, it has to be investigative or in-depth. No more blurbs or summaries, those are already available for free and if newspapers want to publish that, then just get it from a wire service, there’s no need to assign a writer to summarize what we already know.

Stop the obvious biased slant. In other industries, the customer is always right. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re biased or not, if the reader thinks so then you have to change. The readers’ opinion is all that matters so it’s time to change the writing/writers until the readers feel the paper is no longer biased. Many say the biases are cultural and ingrained within the newroom. If so, then perhaps the entire staff has to be fired and replaced over time. Because we all tend to hire people who are similar to ourselves or who we can identify with, this may not be possible without firing all the staff at one time and starting over. Yikes.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Obama Offers Conservatives Hope

Does it seem disquieting to anyone that Obama seems to be "staying the course" with respect to overall foreign and domestic policy? I commend Obama for using his brain and continuing the policies that make sense and are best for America.

Look at Obama's choices on the economic front. Romer, Summers, Geithner, and Bernanke to continue in his current role. These are incredibly sensible and wise choices that have to make any liberal angry. If Republicans had to choose among Democrats, they would not be able to come up with a better slate. Volker is also well liked among Republicans and he will continue to advise Obama. This is the sort of change that will make Obama into a good president, changing the Democrats into a party that focuses on efficiency and regulations that work without imposing massive burdens.

On the foreign policy front, Clinton is a hawk within the Democratic party and Obama even more hawkish. I can't distinguish Obama's foreign policy from that of McCain, other than Obama seems willing to invade and bomb Pakistan while McCain is more dovish.

Again, it seems that the image Democrats have of Obama is different than the one I'm seeing. There hasn't been any indication that Obama would be the radical that destroys America as we know it. He seems smart enough to pursue wise policies and has done a great job in recruiting smart, experienced Cabinet members that will continue the good policies of the past.

Bush was an incompetent manager. It wasn't that all his policies were bad, especially on the foreign policy frong, it was that they were all badly executed. With a competent person behind it all, we could see great gains. We needed a change in quarterbacks, not gameplans. The gameplan remains solid as ever, but the right quarterback can make the difference between a pitiful looking team and a Superbowl winning team.

So when Krugman looks out and sees a radical change, he's imaging things again. Yes the outcome can be very different when incompetence is replaced; a football play can look ugly if executed badly, yet be a thing of beauty when executed as planned. Obama could be the perfect quarterback for our Run N' Shoot offense.