November 10, 2016 Last Updated 11:34 am

Rethinking TNM for the New Year; media observers enjoy their S&M following election

Morning Brief: You might think that Trump supporters were the biggest critics of the media – no way, the media is far worse, and they do it so badly, too

Winter is coming. Or said George R.R. Martin to news concerning the US election. Many media types expressed a similar reaction yesterday, with many saying that they found it hard to get things done, it took longer to complete a task, and that they felt that they needed time off.

But it didn’t take long for many in the media to begin to draw conclusions, some crazy, concerning how the media handled the run up to the election on Tuesday. The alt-right may like to beat up the media, but no one does it with such enthusiasm as the media itself. Then they go back to business as usual.

Then yesterday afternoon and evening the protests began.


Interesting times we live in, no? That is why I am contemplating a change of direction here at TNM.

This site has been dedicated to talking about digital publishing, especially regarding mobile and tablet publishing. With the demise of the Newsstand, and slumping tablet sales, the emphasis has moved more towards online publishing – and always the business of web, newspaper, magazine and book publishing.

But there are two reasons to consider a change: first, the companies now who sell publishers simply do not support the industry financially; and second, our industry, already challenged, will face new challenges in the future due to governments and their supporters who do not value a free press.

I’ll spend some time from now to the end of the year hashing out my thoughts, but I think it time for TNM to adjust to the new circumstances and alter its editorial concentration, while not completely abandoning talking about such things as apps and the like.

Things are tough for many publishers. They are about to get significantly worse. Things need to change, and there needs to be a place where we can explore our ideas about how to deal with our challenges.

SPJ News:

SPJ President Walsh statement on journalism and the election

Yesterday, people from across the United States voted for their next president. They voted after being informed about the candidates and their positions by journalists.

We want you to know the Society is prepared and ready to work with President-elect Donald J. Trump and his administration to ensure journalists continue to function free and without fear of prosecution — as intended by our Founding Fathers.

However, you may, understandably, be concerned about the future. We saw a campaign trail littered with attacks against ‘the media’ and journalists from both sides. President-elect Trump’s past comments and actions about and toward the press foreshadows a potentially dangerous reality.

Even though a lot has been said and threats have been made, the Society, as it has for more than a century, will continue to work tirelessly to improve and protect journalism no matter what obstacles and challenges may stand in the way. For the American people, we vow to keep fighting to protect their right to know what elected officials are doing.

So, what’s next? The Society needs the help of journalists and everyday Americans to lead this charge. SPJ needs you, to stand with us in the fight for information, an open government, a free press and free speech…

The New Literacy Project:

2016 Presidential Election Underscores the Need for News Literacy

We have just weathered a presidential election in which a bitterly divided nation seemed incapable of agreeing on facts — let alone solutions — for the country’s myriad challenges.
Meanwhile, the press, polls and pundits proved to be stunningly wrong in crafting the narrative of this election and appeared out of touch with broad swaths of voters. Partisans on all sides displayed intense hostility to, and distrust of, the news media.

Amid this fractured civic discourse, it is more vital than ever that the next generation be taught how to discern credible, verified information from raw information, spin, misinformation and propaganda. It is essential that young people understand the role of the news media and the First Amendment in a democracy.

The News Literacy Project remains more committed than ever to this mission. As always, we appreciate your support and participation in this important cause.

This is a perfect example of the kind of quickly written, instant analysis that we saw yesterday. That it came from Michael Wolff, who didn’t last two minutes in his last actual job at AdWeek, was perfect. I like Wolff’s writing, but his actual understanding of the media (and advertising, as it turns out) is shallow, clichés, and written from his purch in some place where I assume the refrigerator hasn’t been cleaned out in years.

What bothered me most about media people said about the media, is that their definition of the media was themselves only, not the vast world of media that they do not consume. It is the NYT and WaPo, not Breitbart News, InfoWars or Facebook (though a few did acknowledge Facebook’s roll). Sorry, it is all media, and those that voted from Trump likely only read the comments at the Post and skipped right by the actual stories. More words pro-Trump have been published by the Post this year than anti-Trump – they were just published underneath the stories and online.

David Folkenflik, who is just as good a writer, and better analyst, has a piece for NPR which is far better, though the headline (likely not his) is lazy.

Hollywood Reporter, Michael Wolf:

Trump Win Exposes Media’s Smug Failures

Ads don’t work, polls don’t work, celebrities don’t work, media endorsements don’t work and ground games don’t work.

The media turned itself into the opposition and, accordingly, was voted down as the new political reality emerged: Ads don’t work, polls don’t work, celebrities don’t work, media endorsements don’t work, ground games don’t work.

Not only did the media get almost everything about this presidential election wrong, but it became the central issue, or the stand-in for all those issues, that the great new American Trump Party voted against.

NPR, David Folkenflik:

Trump Won. The Media Lost. What Next?

The transition and the start to the Trump presidency should be great for ratings in the same way the invasion of Iraq was: A strong contingent of the country will cheer it on. Another segment will look on with grave misgivings. And the stakes are enormous. Yet that’s just ratings and clicks. If Trump holds to campaign form — which is not certain, but there’s no reason to expect otherwise — news organizations will have to choose whether to lurch from outrage to outrage rather than identifying what’s actually occurring in the new Trump administration.

Will news organizations acquiesce to a new day without acknowledging the distinctive and dislocating nature of the Trump administration? Will they take an adversarial but conventional approach to covering his White House? Or will they take on an almost oppositional stance? I don’t know — and I don’t think they do, either.


Oops. Bet a number of covers were finished and ready to go, but were pulled back just in time.

NY Post, Keith Kelly:


A national recall went out Wednesday for the special “Madame President” issue of Newsweek that was prematurely shipped to stores and newsstands across the country.

At the same time, the publisher of the magazine will rush the “President Trump” version of the commemorative issue to press on Thursday — so it will get to stores next week.

“Like everybody else, we got it wrong,” said Tony Romando, CEO of Topix Media, the Newsweek partner which produces special issues under the popular brand.

Both a Clinton and a Trump commemorative issue were designed and laid out in advance, but Topix Media, believing late last week that Clinton was likely to win, shipped only the Clinton issue.

Someone in digital at the CBC needs to send a memo… to someone at the CBC.

Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow:

CBC threatens podcast app makers, argues that RSS readers violate copyright

In a move of breathtaking, lawless ignorance, the CBC has begun to send legal threats to podcast app-makers, arguing that making an app that pulls down public RSS feeds is a “commercial use” and a violation of the public broadcaster’s copyrights.

This is a revival of an old, dark era in the web’s history, when linking policies prevailed, through which publishes argued that they had the right to control who could make a link to their sites — that is, who could state the public, true fact that “a page exists at this address.”

But the CBC is going one worse here: their argument is that making a tool that allows someone to load a public URL without permission is violating copyright law — it’s the same thing as saying, “Because Google is a for-profit corporation, any time a Chrome user loads a CBC page in the Chrome browser without the CBC’s permission, Google is violating CBC’s copyright.”

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