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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 09:55 AM ET, 12/28/2011

Media news derivatives: Dec. 28

In case you missed it — A look back at the decision of the New York Times to bag its Week in Review section in favor of the Sunday Review. Not to mention a recommendation on just how you can test your New York Times Provocative Content Categorization IQ.

*Elsewhere:

*More NYT-related stuff: Via HuffPo’s Michael Calderone, there’s a letter circulating at the Times protesting various moves by management, including the freezing of the pension plans of “foreign citizen employees in overseas bureaus” as well as a move to take similar action with respect to non-foreign Times employees. The letter to publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. reads, in part: “At the same time, your negotiators have demanded a freeze of our pension plan and an end to our independent health insurance.” The letter can be found at saveourtimes.com and now has more than 350 signatories. The letter’s drawback is that it bears the caution and often understated manner of a New York Times article. Though it addresses pretty serious stuff, it’s modest and carefully avoids hyperbole, to its detriment. Here’s the softly stated ending:

All of us who work at the Times deserve to have a secured retirement; this should not be a privilege cynically reserved to senior management. We strongly urge you to keep faith with your words and our shared mission of putting out the best newspaper in the world.

*And while we’re feasting on NYT items, I’d always understood that referrals from Twitter don’t count toward the paywall quota. Then why do I appear to be getting dinged for them?

*At the Guardian, Sam Delaney wonders whether the Leveson inquiry will doom celebrity magazines. He’s not saying that the bright light on the tawdry tactics of the mags will trigger legislation or regulations that’ll put these rags out of business. Rather:

It is unclear what practical action Leveson might deem necessary to take against the celebrity news media. But any legislative reform is unlikely to have as much impact as the cultural shift that the inquiry is helping to bring about. This lengthy process has made it impossible for many consumers of celebrity media to suspend their disbelief any longer. The sheer relentlessness with which the ugly details of certain tabloid reporting techniques have been drip-fed by the inquiry has forced the issue to the forefront of the public consciousness. Perceptions of celebrity culture are being altered sufficiently to make a significant and lasting commercial impact.

Yes, the issue is now on the public consciousness, from which it’ll vanish just as soon as some other issue replaces it there.

*With only the slightest prodding from Wolf Blitzer, Newt Gingrich unloads on Mitt Romney:

*Breaking: Fox News puts on intelligent, level-headed discussion about comedians and insensitive joking:

*Salon’s Steve Kornacki chimes in with a nice analysis of why Ron Paul backers should be thankful that the media ignored his candidacy for as long as it did.

Just consider the current uproar over the racist political newsletters that were sent out under Paul’s name (and used to fund his political activities) in the early 1990s. The story is hardly new, but to many voters it feels new because — like Paul himself — it’s been ignored by the press all year.
This is a perk of being dismissed by the press as a fringe figure.

By  |  09:55 AM ET, 12/28/2011

 
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