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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Remembering Kim Pham, Refugee, Newsman, Entrepreneur and Father

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A friend writes: “As a young child one of my fondest memories was sitting with my dad while he read your dad’s paper. I remember trying to practice my Vietnamese by reading the paper out loud and it made my parents so happy.”

Evicted: The Incredible Shrinking State House Press

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There have been plans to knock down the press houses for at least 20 years. One of the reasons it didn’t happen in the 2000s was the opposition of David Postman,⁵ who then presided over a three-person statehouse bureau for The Seattle Times in the Blue House’s best space, with a view of the capitol and the fountain.

How we got here: The Toxicity of Media Consolidation on our Democracy

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Freedom of the press is guaranteed in our constitution, meaning that the government does not control expression. However, the constitution is silent on what happens when a few hawkers dominate the marketplace, and the free press is effectively narrowed to near-monopolies controlling most outlets.

In Port Townsend, a Small-Town Newspaper Revives

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In a small town, “It all comes down to the relationship between a newspaper and a community that values real journalism.”

Where the Alt-Weeklies Went

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Mostly, the heady moment of alternative/urbanist/radical culture which gave birth to city weeklies in almost all large cities, couldn't survive economic downturns, social media, and the fading of the 1960s.

Cutting Costs at The Seattle Times

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In Seattle, the Times is reducing its rented space from four floors to one, but that does not reflect any cuts in personnel so much as the new hybrid work model.

Exit Interview: Ray Rivera, Key Editor at The Seattle Times

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"I don’t think I had to bring about editorial changes. This was already a hard-working newsroom with a lot of talented journalists. I think I stressed that message of 'urgency every day' and going deeper on stories and turning them faster."

Running Toward Danger: Our Political Journalists as War Correspondents

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This anti-media vitriol has been growing for years amid burgeoning mistrust of mainstream media, and not just among extremists. Journalists have become popular targets for extremists from both the left and right, and in politics this blame the media trope has been a favorite of almost all presidents whether Democrat or Republican.

Fox News’ Awkward, Twisting Evolution in talking About the Insurrection

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As reality bit and the terminology changed over the coming days, you could track the emerging acknowledgment at the network (and the Right generally) as to just what happened at the Capitol, and who instigated it.

Out of the Balcony: Progress for Women in America’s Newsrooms

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It’s encouraging and inspiring to hear about the “firsts” and the ongoing advancement of women in the news business. But the fact that in 2020 women still are breaking barriers underscores that gender equality remains a goal, not a reality.

Is a ‘National Vertical’ Such as Chalkbeat.org the Next Media Killer App?

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Local dailies have great range in topics but not a lot of national synergy. Chalkbeat, by contrast, has a single topic and is "national." In this sense it is much more attuned to thy way people consume news these days -- national standards, single topic.

America’s Crisis of Local News

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It’s a national crisis that’s been accelerating at warp speed since 1990, when newspaper revenue began to crater because the internet eliminated want ads and much of print retail advertising.

A Dusty Future for the Seattle Times

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Publisher Frank Blethen has just celebrated a 75th birthday and means to stick around another five years. He's worked with the fifth generation of the family and affirms they remain strong on never selling the paper.

Frank Blethen, Happy Warrior, Gives a Glowing Progress Report for The Times

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The 75-year-old publisher confirmed that he will stay on another five years. The Seattle Times company, he said, “is in the best position we’ve been in over the past 10-15 years.”

News Junky: Tell Me the News

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Doggerel inspired by a grave in Ireland whose tombstone reads "Tell Me the News", which, being a lifelong news junkie, I always thought I'd like mine to read too.

Awash in Disinformation, and a Rising Tide

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If the digital political landscape in this disorienting, dispiriting year gives you the creeps, imagine where we’re headed if hackable digital tech, unmanaged media, and microtargeted marketing rampage on without brakes or scruples.

My Tea with RBG

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What would you have asked Ruth Bader Ginsburg if you unexpectedly found yourself chatting like girlfriends?

Do we have a Problem with How we Report on Science?

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Commonly headlines scream results that invalidate the adage of “correlation does not imply causality.” If a study finds an association between two things, it does not mean one thing caused the other to happen. This is especially true with health-related news.

The Other Face Time: Why Reporters Crave Access

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Are journalists and those they cover too cozy in the nation's capital?

The Woodward Revelations: What Took Him So Long?

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Woodward's basic defense is that a book is designed to give more context to incendiary quotes, which takes time, and naturally he needed to find out if Trump was, as usual, lying about what he knew and why he minimized the pandemic.

The Tricky Business of Using Unnamed Sources

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While it is true that use of unnamed sources can be problematic, there sometimes is a need to resort to them when that is the only way to unlock a big story. However, it should be done with care.

Crosscut’s News Staff and the Changing Composition of Local Newsrooms

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Apparently the goal at Crosscut is to come as close as the newsroom can to reflecting demographics of the region or city. That's a complicated, tail-chasing task.

News or Views? Does anyone trust the media?

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We want to trust the news media, but a new study finds we often don't.

NPR Listenership Plunges, KING-FM on the Rise, and Other Evolving Media Habits

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The COVID lockdown has meant less time in cars and cars are the place people listen to the radio.

Left-Wing Fascism? Which Opinions Are Allowed?

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Instead of building bridges of understanding into Red or Conservative or “deplorable” America, liberal elites are siloing themselves in a way similar to those who watch only FOX News.

Which Voices And What Do They Say? A Fight For The Soul Of Our...

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Seattle media exhibits a growing monoculture of reporting that is too-predictably sympathetic to victims and underdogs. "Follow the victim" has supplanted the old mantra of "follow the money."

Issues or Riots? How Media Coverage Shapes Perceptions of Public Protests

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All this puts protesters in a tricky situation, playing with matches. Their issues and grievances typically have a tough time breaking through to media attention.

Why Does The Seattle Times Win So Many Pulitzers?

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Like newspapers everywhere, the Times has been decimated by plummeting circulation and ad revenue, by repeated layoffs and slashed budgets. The stately art deco office building and modern printing plant are long gone. But the paper continues to pursue gutsy journalism and national prizes.

And Now For Something Completely Cynical: The COVID-Era TV Ad

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Been noticing that the TV ads you see are all starting to look and sound the same? Mournful piano music, poignant images, nostalgic voice-overs and hopeful messages telling us to "stay strong"? America's Big Brands are here to help. Here's a video that parodies the new form - watch and you'll never look at these ads the same way again.

Can I talk to you on Background?

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I am not joking when I say that those cable news sets remind me of horror movies. I keep expecting someone wearing a hockey goalie’s mask to sneak up on the pundit in question and strangle him or slash his throat. And depending on who the pundit is, I sometimes kind of root for it.