Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stupid film reviews and how they are produced

Ever been curious or maybe even annoyed by this barrage
of film reviews in which just about every new film is praised
as totally exciting, you-must-see-this or that. Thing is, it is
fake excitment. An AOL content slave tells it how he was
producing such reviews until he broke down, was a wreck.

AOL Hell: And AOL Content Slave speaks out

This is giving some explanation why big book chain stores
are going bust, they are usually trying to sell stuff, DVDs and
CDs included, that is not all too popular, just being pushed on
them by sales people of bigger firms. Until some bigger bank-
ruptcy makes an end to all that.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The end of newspapers as we knew them

... we journalists can never stop looking back... back to the
days of printed copies selling in their millions on a daily basis...
back to an era of seemingly unlimited advertising. ...

Roy Greenslade wrote a marvelous piece about the
steady decline of newspapers in the UK, a decline that
only becomes apparent when looking at the numbers,
the decline of circulation.

In 1966, the Daily Mirror sold 5.1m copies a day, the
Daily Express 4m and the Daily Telegraph 1.4m. Last month,
those titles had circulations of 1.2m, 631,000 and 635,000

Those were the days, my friends, ... 

Update: the phone hacking of Milly Dowler, a 13 year old girl
slain in 2002 could eventually be the trigger for some serious
media criticism of the general public who is now learning of a
really disgusting case of the practices of media misfits. The further
decline of newspaper circulation, particularly the tabloids, is
pretty sure the result of this.

Murdoch's British newspapers are all loss makers since years.
The phone hacking scandals with all the libel damage cases
related will lead to a considerable further deterioriation of the
financial situation of those newspapers.

Update: The News of The World is closing.

Kudos for Melissa Harrison who organized the Twitter campaign
that target advertisers, a real highlight in that affair:
Why I set about hitting the News of The World where it hurts

Nick Davies (here in a video), the Guardian reporter who is a
long time critic of media and who was crucial in uncovering and
reporting that scandal wrote the book "Flat earth news", a books
of course soon talked down as silly, not really interesting, is
nevertheless a book of interest. It reads even better after
the closure of NoWT.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bye bye media: the conflict Google, the net and old media brilliantly nailed by song parody

As the Murdoch scandals are continuing, providing serious fuel for the media
crisis, this song parody nails it once again with "the year the media died".

The magic and power of the internet versus that of the old media. A beautifully
crafted essay could hardly match the insight given in that song parordy, the way
newspapers are vanishing, the problems of TV advertisers and wasted
ad expenses, changing consumer habits or the many more chances and choices
people have with the net. And it is fun on top of that.

The song parody can be followed up by having a look at the
newspaper crisis in the US, Murdoch's loss making newspapers
in the UK (Murdoch is ranting about Google, the net, since
years),  most hated TV ads in the US and other aspects of
the media business. These are just a few examples.

Update: as the Murdoch / News Corp scandal unfolds here
a very interesting article in Al Jazeera. It tells of Murdoch's
ambitions of expansion in the Middle East, a totally irrational
strategy. It's no wonder when things go wrong for him and
his corporation in the end.
Murdoch's ambition in the Middle East

Friday, June 10, 2011

Great laugh: Texas hoax that caught the media

"Europe woke up to a tremendous disappointment on Wednesday.
Despite the lurid promises of the 11 o'clock news, authorities in Texas
had failed to unearth 30 dismembered bodies from a property in rural
Liberty County. Not even 15 bodies. Not even one stinking cadaver,
with or without extremities – much less the poor mutilated children TV
viewers were all prepared to be horrified/titillated to learn all about."

Bob Garfield knows how to enjoy such a  media failure:
Texas hoax had the media digging their own grave

And it's not just a great article, the comments by readers are

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bad financial advice: the great failure of media

When the mistakes of investors are the subject of articles the hype of the media in
the recent past is usually not the subject, something they were just never into.
For instance that pretty popular video on You Tube is, for the media, just not worth
mentioning even though it is one the best examples of what the media and financial
experts were up to.
Some of the characters who had the big say then could by now easily apply for a role
in a financial thriller, even a James Bond movie.

Another example of such voluntary censorship  is the farewell letter
of Andrew Lahde, a hedge fund manager, who identified the problems
correctly soon enough and began short selling. He quit his job in 2008
with a funny farewell letter in which he made it clear what he thought of
those who provided the opportunities.

Or, take a  look at the role newspapers played, in the US and Europe,
their complicity and sins in the financial crisis, here a nice summary by
Danny Schechter.  about American newspapers. (The newspapers in
the US are meantime in their sixth year of decline.)

Pretty much the same criticism could be written about European media.
These are just examples.

As a final example of how the media manage to become almost
eternal problems the way the Irish media turned round can be seen
as prime example. A couple of years ago the Irish media were great
in hyping up anything. And then, when  things turned sour, the bubbles
they helped to create burst, they turned to the old fashioned "bad news
are good news", real body snatchers who are making a show of the problems
and are now something like cheerleaders for wailing, whining, ranting,
problem loving, while badly informing, thus assisting people to get ever
deeper into problems.