On The Media And The Presidential Campaigns

Posted by: Jon Fine on September 17, 2008

I spent this past week working on a column concerning the Presidential campaigns and the rampancy of today’s media environment. This gave me an excellent excuse to spend hours each day monitoring every conceivable twitch and twitter of nonstop political news and polling and blogging cycles.

It was fun and all, but it’s also a surefire way to end up with the information equivalent of an ice cream headache every day. (Not that this stopped me.)

The New York Observer’s John Koblin just weighed in on a similar topic. He was remarking on how hard it is for the big print stories of today to break through the clutter:

Does print journalism matter in this election?

“It’s obvious, and no crime against humanity, that the world has many, many places to turn for information, misinformation, analysis, rants, etc,” wrote Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times, in an e-mail. “We—The Times, The Washington Post, Politico, the news outlets that aim to be aggressive, serious and impartial—don’t dominate the conversation the way we once did, and that’s fine, except it means some excellent hard work gets a little muffled.
“But we do want our work to be noticed,” he wrote, “and I’ve been repeatedly surprised at the rich, important stories that fail to resonate the way they deserve.”

(snip)

In-boxes crammed with New York Times articles and Huffington Post hyperlinks do not advertise their relative value or importance. Everything is equal, everything is a tie and nothing, it seems, is important anymore.

Koblin's piece is sharp, and you should read it. I’ll have more to blog about this whole subject when my column, which looks at this through a slightly different lens, goes online tomorrow.

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The media, entertainment and marketing worlds continue to shapeshift on a near-daily basis, as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. Where is it all going? No one really knows. But on this blog BusinessWeek’s media writers Tom Lowry and Ron Grover promise to provide ample helpings of scoop, provocation, and sharp analysis as they track and annotate this constantly changing terrain.

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