January 6, 2017 Last Updated 9:49 am

Roy Greenslade to end media blog at The Guardian; so who really is the “MSM” today?

Morning Brief: NYT looks back at the origins of its slogan – ‘All the News That’s Fit to Print.’ – and the contest that found a new slogan, one that it didn’t end up using

So, Mexico won’t be paying for that wall. What a surprise. ‘Cause we all thought they would, right? No, you didn’t. Well, count yourself among the millions that are not so easily fooled. But don’t spend much time patting yourself on the back, because we still are where we are – two weeks from the inauguration.

In rather sad news, Roy Greenslade acknowledged today that he is giving up his media blog at The Guardian after ten years.

“I am sad to be giving up the blog, but I think the work of holding newspapers – their owners, controllers, editors and journalists – to account remains vital because they still set the daily agenda and therefore remain hugely influential,” Greenslade told the PressGasette.

His plans are to plans to increase his teaching at City University, and still contribute occasionally to the Guardian. Sadly, it doesn’t sound like the UK paper plans to have a full-time media critic going forward.

This brings me to something that has annoyed me about modern media companies for a while: their failure to consider partnerships. Back in 2010, when TNM first launched, I wrote about several local blogs that had emerged to cover areas where newspapers had cut back their coverage. One blog in Minnesota covered the local soccer scene, and it made me wonder why one of the metro papers hadn’t suggested to the blogger that he also write for them. This would extend their sports coverage, cost them half as much as a full-time reporter, and help the blogger continue their work. Had he been approached by, say, the Star-Tribune, I asked at the time? Of course not.

After a few years of publishing TNM I made efforts to reach out to other media outlets with the idea of a partnership, one that might expand the coverage being offered here, while also helping out the partner outlet. There were some short lived partnerships, but nothing serious.

This is the way we work in publishing, we see everyone as a competitor, rather than a potential ally. In tech, new start-ups are seen both as potential competition, as well as potential partners and eventually acquisition targets. Many of the new features you see on your smartphone became possible when Apple or Google partnered or acquired a smaller company. It makes the product better, can’t media companies see that?



The Guardian, Roy Greenslade:

This blog is about to die, but I will still hold newspapers to account

It has been more than 10 years since I wrote the first posting in what now seems like a different world. Many newspaper editors, if not their owners, were still confident that newsprint would survive the digital revolution…

…I regard media commentating as a vital journalistic task at present because I am concerned about journalism’s survival into the next decade.

My central worry is about a potential failure by UK media to hold power, meaning political power and business power, to account.

I proclaimed at the start of my blogging career that I was a digital revolutionary. I did so as something of a wake-up call to fellow journalists who were sceptical about the radical effect of online media.

A decade on, I joke about being a counter revolutionary. I still regard media’s future as digital, of course. But I want us all to wake up to the implications of losing big media. Can we achieve that task without the scale and reach of a media that, for good or bad, is the locus of our national conversation?



This column is full of so much BS that one hesitates to include it here. But there is a sliver of truth in it that I think publishers need to consider.

When looking at readership numbers, one has to ask oneself what exactly is “mainstream” media? Wouldn’t it simply be the most popular media, that which is being read? How can media which only a minor of readers consume be mainstream while popular media is not? That makes no sense to me. Merriam Webster seems to back this up, defining mainstream as “a prevailing current or direction of activity or influence” – and today that prevailing current is seen in the traffic and TV viewership numbers.

As for the rest of the argument… well, anytime a column includes the phrase “academic toadies” you know you will be in for a rough ride. But The Hill is going full Trump, possibly in hopes of finding a niche which will get them afloat over the next four years – or to put it another way, to make them a mainstream media outlet.

The Hill, Patrick Maines:

Donald Trump and the future of the mainstream media

Just look at the numbers: FOX News Channel ranks number one in cable viewers, and it’s not even close; talk radio is dominated by conservatives; Breitbart.com is ranked 47th in the United States, as of January 4, while, according to Alexa, the Washingtonpost.com is ranked 53rd; and the Drudgereport.com is the leading source of referrals (excluding social media and searches) to the top news organizations. Indeed, Drudge provides over half of all referrals to the Associated Press website.

The outlets of the right don’t, of course, have the same cultural influence as the legacy media, and probably never will. But cultural dominance without political influence equals precisely…what?



Yesterday I wrote about the need of publishers to not forget that during the more profitable days of our business, we were big marketers. Today, we have too often eschewed advertising – advertising in our products, and advertising of our products.

Coincidentally, here is an article in the NYT, part of their Times Insider program, that reflects back on the early days of the paper’s ownership by Adolph S. Ochs, and his contest to find a slogan, and then his marketing of the paper.

The New York Times, David W. Dunlap:

1896 | ‘News, Not Nausea’

In late 1896, “All the News That’s Fit to Print” was an advertising slogan on an electric billboard overlooking Madison Square.

Adolph S. Ochs had recently purchased the failing New York Times at what amounted to a fire sale. On the billboard and elsewhere, he tried to distinguish The Times from its competitors by stressing its gravity, thoroughness, accuracy and decorum.

But he was a showman, too. He knew that a reward of $100 for a new motto would generate far more than $100 worth of publicity. He invited readers to coin “a phrase of 10 words or less which shall more aptly express the distinguishing characteristics of The New York Times.”

…He awarded the prize to “All the World’s News, but Not a School for Scandal,” by D. M. Redfield of New Haven, Conn., even though The Times said the phrase would not be adopted.

Instead, it was “All the News That’s Fit to Print” that first appeared in the upper left corner of The Times’s front page on Feb. 10, 1897. In the upper right corner, the weather box (or “ear,” as we call it) also made its debut. Remarkably, that layout is almost unchanged, 120 years later.



Did you watch the final of World Junior hockey championship last night? If you didn’t, missed a classic game. And if wasn’t even the best game of the tournament, the previous days game between the US and Russia was even better.

If you are Canadian, you know all about the game, the tournament and the excitement that this event generates. Last night’s game recap is front page news in many Canadian newspapers.

But each day I have tried to find even a brief mention of the event in my local paper, but nothing. Maybe my paper is too provincial, too local, too under staffed, too closed minded, too homey. It is the Chicago Tribune.

But this morning I looked for a major story in the local Madison, Wisconsin newspaper website. Surely they would be leading with the story of the US victory over Canada in a dramatic shootout – after all, the captain of the team is from the University of Wisconsin. But nothing.

OK, what about ESPN, surely they will be blasting the news about the US victory, and what an incredible game, and tournament, it had been? Yeah, right.

We Americans are often accused of shutting out the rest of the world, but when our own national team can’t get coverage, well, maybe the problem is bigger than that. Maybe the reporters, whether covering politics or sports, are so focused on a sliver of the world that only interests them that they are missing out.

I know that it is a small thing to many. But if you didn’t watch the game last night, or can’t read a report on it in your local paper, or on a national sports website, something is seriously wrong.

Here is part of Sean Gordon’s excellent report on the game, I recommend you click over and read the entire, thorough, story:

The Globe and Mail, Sean Gordon:

World junior hockey final: Agony for Canada after losing to U.S. in shootout

…The puck rolled off his stick.

It’s no kind of way to determine the victor in what was, by any criteria you care to apply, an absolute classic of a hockey game…

…“Either team could have won that. What a game. It was an awesome hockey game,” he said.

That’s absolutely true.

Comments are closed.