Sunday, March 19, 2006

Howell Touts Connection to Readership

... ... There's one big intangible in all this: a paper's connection with its readers. Readers who feel respected and who love their newspaper don't depart easily. If Post journalists write every story, take every photo, compose every headline and design every page with readers in mind, and the newspaper is printed well and delivered on time, The Post will be fine.
Newspapers in an Economic Storm
I came close to spitting my freshly squeezed o.j. on to my screen. Someone needs to explain to Ms. Howell and Mr. Brady that a connection to readership is also what keeps a webblog alive. It's close to inconceivable how Deborah Howell can write the last line in today's column without seeing the irony dripping from her latest dose of Me, Clueless.

Reader philip offers more in comments...

- Taylor Marsh


Blogger Taylor Marsh said...

I'm reposting the following comment from philip from the prior conversation, because it's all about Deborah Howell's column today.


[Keeping hope alive over at WaPo blog]:

Newspapers in an Economic Storm
"Readers who feel respected and who love their newspaper don't depart easily."

Trust me on this... I am SOOOOOO glad I wasn't drinking something and had a mouthful when I read THAT line! Warn me next time, how 'bout it!

By the way, what are the names of those 80 people occupying those newsroom positions to be cut?
[/crosses fingers]

If you need to make more cuts, ring my digits. I have some suggestions.

Posted by: Philip | March 19, 2006 01:06 AM

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Philip said...

[Keeping hope alive over at WaPo blog]:

How is it that an adbot named "Sell Nike &Jordan Shoes" can post a message here but apparently the "monitor of this board" will not allow Jim Brady or Deborah Howell to leave a response?

It's really unfair, whoever you are, and I'd like to request that you quit deleting their comments before the rest of us have a chance to read them.

If you have to filter the bad words, by all means, do that. We're grown up boys and girls here, we've probably seen those salty, newsroom words a time or two before, but please, please, do allow Jim Brady and Deborah Howell to post their replies to the many questions that have been asked.

It's the only fair thing to do. Quit censoring Jim Brady and Deborah Howell!

Posted by: Philip | March 20, 2006 08:32 AM

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Cujo359 said...

The other day I observed that it had been two months since the Debbie Howell article that started all this, with no sign of a correction to the online post.

Today, Media Matters noted that it's now the third anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, with no editorial on the subject from the WaPo. As they note, there's plenty for the Post to explain or apologize for in their coverage prior to the war. In contrast, the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times both printed editorials about the war.

I'm not holding my breath for a correction in either case.

12:54 AM  
Anonymous Philip said...

I'm not holding my breath for a correction in either case.

Cujo, that's probably the right thing to do. Don't wait for an explanation or an apology. I really don't think the Post feels they did anything wrong in their Afghan/Iraq reporting.

The only thing they have going for themselves these days is they're physically located in the nation's capital but even that little fact doesn't really matter as much as they might want to think. Yeah, aren't they so prestigious and special because they're THE newspaper in THE nation's capital. They broke the story on Watergate. WooHoo. What have they done since then? I'm sure they broke other major stories but I'm hard-pressed to think of any at the moment. They know they don't matter anymore. They just refuse to admit it and do some clever, innovative things to change it. Oh, they could matter. The problem is there are too many one-dimensional thinkers running the Post these days, with too few meaningful ideas on how to improve themselves. They've got that clown of an ombudsman, the clown that runs the online version and now they have a clown writing a blog called "Redstate."

Their stock is tanking these days and I'm sure they're getting hammered by larger shareholders to turn it all around. Subscribers to the paper edition are dropping like flies and as amusing as it is for me to pester Mr. Jim and Ms. Howell through the blogs, even I don't have an unlimited attention span,... waiting for a response,... any response. It's sad really because I used to like the Post a lot, but it's depressing watching them circling the pipe. There's so many other sources of news available these days and it just might be time for me to pull the plug on the Post.

In the big picture to them, I don't matter. The thing they may not realize yet is, I'm not alone.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Cujo359 said...

Let's see if "raving half-wits" is too personal a comment ...

***************** POST to the WaPo blog follows ******************

Congratulations on the Redstate blog. Thank goodness someone is finally going to represent the views of the majority on all the issues that really affect us. I'm sure he'll be supporting working people and access to proper medical care.

"(DO shop at Wal-Mart, DON'T buy gas from Citgo)"

Stop crying about having no health care, you librul babies! The important thing is that gays aren't getting married on our watch.

Well, OK, he's a conservative. I'm sure that he'll have the sort of cultured, intellectual tastes that characterize William F. Buckley and William Safire, right?

"Red Dawn? You must know it - the greatest pro-gun movie ever?"

No, well I'm sure he anyone who can like a plodding homage to Cold War hysteria won't take himself too seriously, right?

"This is a blog for the majority of Americans."

Umm, well, OK. I guess he has enough respect for all those real Americans that he'll open his "blog" to comments, right?

"Posted by Ben Domenech | Permalink | Email a Comment"

Apparently, the majority of Americans are raving half-wits who don't have their own opinions. Living in a bubble of liberal idealism you miss these things. Thanks for setting me straight.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Cujo359 said...

The only thing they have going for themselves these days is they're physically located in the nation's capital

I'm starting to wonder what it would take to start an online version of a Washington paper. As you say, it needn't be based in Washington, but of course it would need to have reporters there. If it could hire the good reporters from the WaPo and some of the other Washington bureaus it ought to have little trouble attracting serious readership.

Here's the list of things I know it would need:

(1) Reporters.

(2) A website.

(3) computers, preferably laptops or PDAs

I suspect I'm missing one or two things. Probably lawyers and a pension fund. Might need to have a sales department.

The idea would be to have something like NPR - a non-profit supported by donations and (small) ad sales. Something that couldn't be taken over easily by well-heeled special interests. Of course, I don't have the money to do this, nor the business acumen. Still, it's probably not beyond the means of someone who has one or the other, and the rest of us can hope.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush goes ballistic about other countries being evil and dangerous, because they have weapons of mass destruction. But, he insists on building up even a more deadly supply of nuclear arms right here in the US. What do you think? How does that work in a democracy again? How does being more threatening make us more likeable?Isn't the country with
the most weapons the biggest threat to the rest of the world? When one country is the biggest threat to the rest of the world, isn't that likely to be the most hated country?
What happened to us, people? When did we become such lemmings?
The more people that the government puts in jails, the safer we are told to think we are. The real terrorists are wherever they are, but they aren't living in a country with bars on the windows. We are.

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