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hotelcharlie:

oldnewyork:

capitalnewyork:

newsweek:

gillianmae:

David Simon on the doomed relationship between cities and their newsrooms.

“The newsroom is the essential vehicle for understanding a city,  because it’s not one guy at a computer trying to figure shit out,” he  said. “It’s a newsroom full of sources, it’s a newsroom full of people  who spent half their career on a beat. When the city hall reporter is  24-years-old, you know, you ain’t going to find out what’s going on in  city hall.”
Nor is it any consolation when new-media companies hire reporters to  cater to a national audience.
Of Arianna Huffington and her 13-million-unique-visitor-a-month  Huffington Post, Simon said, “She can dabble like a dilettante in  national politics—‘I’m going to hire eight, nine people, actually pay  them a salary, maybe, call them an investigative team and loose these  eight, nine people on Washington.’ When human beings can’t find out  what’s going on in Baltimore, Cleveland, St. Louis, Trenton and  everywhere else in the United States, how does that save journalism?
“The day that there’s a bunch of Huffington Post reporters in  Baltimore, and there’s a Baltimore edition of the Huffington post, then  you know what it is? It’s a newspaper and it’s online—it’s an online  paper and it’s something to be reckoned with. But until they’re going to  be there every day and until they’re going to have 40, 50, 60,000  readers in Baltimore, concerned about the issues in Baltimore, the  Huffington Post doesn’t mean shit to the average American. It doesn’t  mean shit to people in New York if they want to find out about metro  coverage.”
For Simon, the galling thing is not that print is yielding to  online—he makes a point of saying that he has no interest in preserving  newsprint (“you know, cutting down trees”). The problem is the  disappearance of a bunch of local outlets, to be replaced by a few big  national ones.


We’d love better business minds than ours to weigh in here, but we’ve long thought that the decline in local news organizations is just the end phase of a decline that started with the death of the local department store; we assume that Huffpo’s push into local, along with Patch, etc. is basically just the journalistic equivalent of Walmart, no? 

You should really read the whole article at Capital, since David gets into the business model and how the race for as many eyeballs as possible destroyed local newsrooms.

hotelcharlie:

oldnewyork:

capitalnewyork:

newsweek:

gillianmae:

David Simon on the doomed relationship between cities and their newsrooms.

“The newsroom is the essential vehicle for understanding a city, because it’s not one guy at a computer trying to figure shit out,” he said. “It’s a newsroom full of sources, it’s a newsroom full of people who spent half their career on a beat. When the city hall reporter is 24-years-old, you know, you ain’t going to find out what’s going on in city hall.”

Nor is it any consolation when new-media companies hire reporters to cater to a national audience.

Of Arianna Huffington and her 13-million-unique-visitor-a-month Huffington Post, Simon said, “She can dabble like a dilettante in national politics—‘I’m going to hire eight, nine people, actually pay them a salary, maybe, call them an investigative team and loose these eight, nine people on Washington.’ When human beings can’t find out what’s going on in Baltimore, Cleveland, St. Louis, Trenton and everywhere else in the United States, how does that save journalism?

“The day that there’s a bunch of Huffington Post reporters in Baltimore, and there’s a Baltimore edition of the Huffington post, then you know what it is? It’s a newspaper and it’s online—it’s an online paper and it’s something to be reckoned with. But until they’re going to be there every day and until they’re going to have 40, 50, 60,000 readers in Baltimore, concerned about the issues in Baltimore, the Huffington Post doesn’t mean shit to the average American. It doesn’t mean shit to people in New York if they want to find out about metro coverage.”

For Simon, the galling thing is not that print is yielding to online—he makes a point of saying that he has no interest in preserving newsprint (“you know, cutting down trees”). The problem is the disappearance of a bunch of local outlets, to be replaced by a few big national ones.

We’d love better business minds than ours to weigh in here, but we’ve long thought that the decline in local news organizations is just the end phase of a decline that started with the death of the local department store; we assume that Huffpo’s push into local, along with Patch, etc. is basically just the journalistic equivalent of Walmart, no? 

You should really read the whole article at Capital, since David gets into the business model and how the race for as many eyeballs as possible destroyed local newsrooms.

Text

Publicly, let me state that The Wire owes no apologies—at least not for its depiction of those portions of Baltimore where we set our story, for its address of economic and political priorities and urban poverty, for its discussion of the drug war and the damage done from that misguided prohibition, or for its attention to the cover-your-ass institutional dynamic that leads, say, big-city police commissioners to perceive a fictional narrative, rather than actual, complex urban problems as a cause for righteous concern. As citizens using a fictional narrative as a means of arguing different priorities or policies, those who created and worked on The Wire have dissented.

Commissioner Bealefeld may not be comfortable with public dissent, or even a public critique of his agency. He may even believe that the recent decline in crime entitles him to denigrate as “stupid” or “slander” all prior dissent, as if the previous two decades of mismanagement in the Baltimore department had not happened and should not have been addressed by any act of storytelling, given that Baltimore is no longer among the most violent American cities, but merely a very violent one.

Others might reasonably argue, however that it is not sixty hours of The Wire that will require decades for our city to overcome, as the commissioner claims. A more lingering problem might be two decades of bad performance by a police agency more obsessed with statistics than substance, with appeasing political leadership rather than seriously addressing the roots of city violence, with shifting blame rather than taking responsibility.  That is the police department we depicted in The Wire, give or take our depiction of some conscientious officers and supervisors. And that is an accurate depiction of the Baltimore department for much of the last twenty years, from the late 1980s, when cocaine hit and the drug corners blossomed, until recently, when Mr. O’Malley became governor and the pressure to clear those corners without regard to legality and to make crime disappear on paper finally gave way to some normalcy and, perhaps, some police work. Commissioner Bealefeld, who was present for much of that history, knows it as well as anyone associated with The Wire.

(via The AVClub)