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The theatre appeared in the crime section more than the arts section ...

Bloodletters and Bad Actors Mefi's Own Max Sparber looks at the early days of Omaha theater, back when it was a frontier town, its amusements were questionable, and vice was rampant, with occasional forays into more recent performing arts misbehavior. [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk on Jun 11, 2014 - 4 comments

Many newspapers enter, no one leaves

Newspaper company Digital First Media is expected to announce today that it is shuttering Project Thunderdome, its three-year old experiment in news content creation and sharing. [more inside]
posted by Rangeboy on Apr 2, 2014 - 15 comments

Citizen Ailes

A few years back, Fox News head Roger Ailes moved to Garrison, NY, built a house, bought the local newspaper, and got involved in local politics. New York Magazine has the story of Ailes' efforts to remake the small town in his own image, and the rage, paranoia, and narcissism those who've interacted with him have come to expect.
posted by Pope Guilty on Feb 18, 2014 - 135 comments

Con Men! Artistocrats! Nancy Boys! Radiothearpy and More!

The Trickster Prince is academic and historian Matt Houlbrook's blog about the ephemera and little-known stories of the English inter-war period (and before) with a focus on class-jumping, queer narratives, "faking it", and urban society in the 20s and 30s.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 5, 2014 - 13 comments

The man who hates liberal Britain

“He articulates the dreams, fears and hopes of socially insecure members of the suburban middle class,” .... “It’s a daily performance of genius.” Paul Dacre of the Daily Mail
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 3, 2014 - 29 comments

So letters that have an untrue basis... do not get printed

On October 8, the LA Times' Letter Editor, Paul Thornton published a piece entitled, "On letters from climate-change deniers" following up on a claim in an earlier article that said, " Simply put, this objection to the president's healthcare law is based on a falsehood, and letters that have an untrue basis (for example, ones that say there's no sign humans have caused climate change) do not get printed." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 22, 2013 - 73 comments

Savor your newspaper. This is what it feels like when it’s gone.

Gabriel Stein reflects on the end of the The Rocky Mountain News, his father's decades-long career there as an editorial cartoonist, and the silver lining he sees in the billionaire acquisitions of The Washington Post and The Boston Globe.
posted by audi alteram partem on Sep 11, 2013 - 8 comments

The Guardian's global page.

The Guardian's global page. Everything published on the newspaper's website each day in one long unfiltered list. Also useful, The New York Times Wire.
posted by feelinglistless on Mar 29, 2013 - 7 comments

RIP: Boston Phoenix and WFNX Radio

The Boston Phoenix will be closing immediately, only six months after reinventing itself as a glossy weekly. The Portland and Providence versions will remain open. [Previously]
posted by dunkadunc on Mar 14, 2013 - 66 comments

Size matters

The degeneration of the newspaper comic strip in one handy picture. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 9, 2013 - 63 comments

EU migrants robbing pensioners while Britain's flooded give you cancer

The curious lifecycle of Daily Express headlines: health scares, weather scares, EU villainy, migrant scares, pension scares.
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 1, 2013 - 7 comments

Down and Out in Paris and Berlin

Russians without Russia is an elegantly designed digital archive of the magazines and newspapers produced by the Russian exile communities of 1920s and 30s.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 30, 2013 - 12 comments

BIFF WINS AGAIN

Jonathan Chait questions the editorial judgment of the Hill Valley Telegraph in Back to the Future Part II. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on Jan 4, 2013 - 65 comments

Every newspaper headline published in "The Simpsons"

This is a compilation of every headline (with screenshots) seen on "The Simpsons". These Simpsons headlines come primarily with the Springfield Shopper, Springfield's only major newspaper. The compilation includes such memorable headlines as "SQUIRREL RESEMBLING ABRAHAM LINCOLN FOUND", "AWFUL SCHOOL IS AWFUL RICH", and "PARADE TO DISTRACT JOYLESS CITIZENRY"
posted by winecork on Dec 12, 2012 - 32 comments

The Times They Are a-Changin'

In 1962, fifty years ago this month, striking union printers shut down four New York City newspapers in resistance to computerized, automated technologies that were being introduced in newsrooms across the country. Five other area papers shut down voluntarily. The strike lasted 114 days and sounded the death knell for four newspapers. For a brief period, New York was a laboratory that demonstrated what can happen when newspapers vanish. Today, new technology is again shaking American newspapers as the Internet drains away more and more advertising revenue. Is this The Long Good Bye? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 30, 2012 - 25 comments

Blackboard Newspaper

Liberia's blackboard newspaper (via)
posted by roll truck roll on Oct 30, 2012 - 5 comments

We Don't Want a Traffic Jam?

You want us to pay you for directing eyeballs to your sites? Newspaper publishers in France want a law whereby Google (and other search engine services) have to pay for each click made from the search engine to their sites. You click on a link to a French newspaper site from a search engine, the Search Engine has to pay the newspaper for that click. If the law is passed it's likely Google will no longer include links to French sites that require payment for said links.
posted by juiceCake on Oct 19, 2012 - 107 comments

Ephemeral New York

Ephemeral New York 'chronicles an ever-changing, constantly reinvented city through photos, newspaper archives, and other scraps and artifacts that have been edged into New York’s collective remainder bin.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 11, 2012 - 5 comments

I'm not dead yet!

In the wake of the venerable Boston Phoenix changing to a glossy magazine format and rebranding itself as simply The Phoenix (as well as the ongoing turmoil at the Village Voice), Salon's Will Doig writes the obituary for the age of the alt-weeklies. The Phoenix responds.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Oct 7, 2012 - 32 comments

Warren Buffett as Teacher

Analog, Warren Buffett and Digital Media - Why Warren Buffett invests in newspapers: " You essentially have a business that will make a lot of money if you are terrific, it will make a lot of money if you're lousy," Buffett said, "...how good a newspaper is depends entirely on the wishes of its owner. There is no correlation between profits and excellence," Buffett added, "there's really nothing like that in American business." Enjoy nearly a full 60 minutes of Warren Buffet's (all too rare) public teaching style in this recently uploaded video from 1992.
posted by spock on Sep 28, 2012 - 15 comments

The Baby Died - Morbid Curiosities found in Old Newspapers

A fellow tried to impress his friends by fitting a billiard ball in his mouth - he died. A young woman laced her corset too tightly - she died. A woman fell down the stairs, which caused one of her hairpins to penetrate her skull - she died. And, of course, many people had horrible encounters with mill and farm machinery. Predictably, they died. (warning-occasionally graphic descriptions of death and dismemberment, mostly from the late 19th century). [more inside]
posted by cilantro on Sep 21, 2012 - 59 comments

The News Corporation scandals

Murdoch's Scandal - Lowell Bergman (the journalist portrayed by Al Pacino in The Insider) has investigated News Corporation for PBS Frontline [transcript]. He depicts Rupert Murdoch's British operation as a criminal enterprise, routinely hacking the voicemail and computers of innocent people, and using bribery and coercion to infiltrate police and government over decades. Enemies are ruthlessly "monstered" by the tabloids. Bergman also spoke to NPR's Fresh Air [transcript]. But the hits keep coming: in recent days News Corp has been accused of hacking rival pay TV services and promoting pirated receiver cards in both the UK and Australia. With the looming possibility of prosecution under America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, how long will shareholders consider Rupert Murdoch irreplaceable? [Previous 1 2 3 4]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 28, 2012 - 58 comments

Another brick in the paywall

Newspapers have two principal sources of revenue, readers and advertisers, and they can operate at mass or niche scale for each of those groups. A metro-area daily paper is a mass product for customers (many readers buy the paper) and for advertisers (many readers see their ads.) Newsletters and small-circulation magazines, by contrast, serve niche readers, and therefore niche advertisers — Fire Chief, Mother Earth News. (Some newsletters get by with no advertising at all, as with Cooks’ Illustrated, where part of what the user pays for is freedom from ads, or rather freedom from a publisher beholden to advertisers.) Paywalls were an attempt to preserve the old mass+mass model after a transition to digital distribution. With so few readers willing to pay, and therefore so few readers to advertise to, paywalls instead turned newspapers into a niche+niche business. What the article threshold creates is an odd hybrid — a mass market for advertising, but a niche market for users. Clay Shirky on the economics of newspaper paywalls and why article thresholds seem to be the way of the future.
posted by storybored on Jan 10, 2012 - 15 comments

J. Hoberman Fired by Village Voice

Yesterday, the Village Voice fired J. Hoberman, long-time champion of independent and experimental film (and its senior film critic of 24 years). Hoberman promises that there's a blog in his future. The Voice has an archive of his writing for them since 1998. Here are his Top 10 lists for the years 1977 to 2006, and here they are for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. Here is a compilation of his advice for aspiring film critics. A critic who came of age in an era when the lines between "film critic" and "film scholar" were blurrier, Hoberman has also written books about American movies and the Cold War and the forgotton history of Yiddish cinema. Here are some interviews with him about his work.
posted by bubukaba on Jan 5, 2012 - 42 comments

LAT at 130

Yesterday, the Los Angeles Times celebrated the 130th anniversary of its first issue, and marked the occasion with 130 photos from Los Angeles history, as well as a gallery of historic front pages.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 5, 2011 - 7 comments

Not Me implicated.

Bil Keane, creator of famous (and often mocked) newspaper comic The Family Circus, has died at 89.
posted by mightygodking on Nov 9, 2011 - 78 comments

How to fail at digital publishing

How to fail at digital publishing
posted by nam3d on Oct 20, 2011 - 27 comments

SAUSAGE MAN WINS ACCOLADE

GUNMAN SEEN OFF WITH MUG --- DEALER SOLD TEA TO COPS --- MICE FORCE PENSIONER OUT OF HOME --- Just another day for the South London Press. [more inside]
posted by Acheman on Oct 15, 2011 - 14 comments

"...we still can’t tell whether we are all about to die or whether we are being sold a bill of goods."

'The stories about epidemics that are told in the American press—their plots and tropes—date to the 1920's, when modern research science, science journalism, and science fiction were born.' This is the story of how the media back then (January, 1930) helped fuel fears about a parrot-fever pandemic, and the subsequent public backlash. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 11, 2011 - 24 comments

Public Relations vs. Journalism

PR Industry Fills Vacuum Left by Shrinking Newsrooms - "You would go into these hearings and there would be more PR people representing these big players than there were reporters, sometimes by a factor of two or three" ..it's getting tougher to know when a storyline originates with a self-interested party producing its own story.
posted by thisisdrew on Jul 12, 2011 - 43 comments

The Newspaper Map

The Newspaper Map: browse thousands of local, regional and national newspapers from around the world, based on geographical location. Filter and translate languages, see newspaper archives back to the early 19th century, and find fourth estate Twitter and YouTube feeds. A mobile version is also available. via
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jun 7, 2011 - 7 comments

"The man who gave comics its memory" Bill Blackbeard 1926-2011

Bill Blackbeard, founder of the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art, passed away March 10. The Comics Journal calls him "without question or quibble the only absolutely indispensable figure in the history of comics scholarship for the last quarter century." [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on Apr 25, 2011 - 14 comments

New York Times launches digital subscriptions

The New York Times launches digital subscriptions, only for Canadians at the moment and on March 28 for everyone else. Packages start at $3.75/week. Readers will be allowed 20 free articles a month sans subscription. (previously, previously)
posted by shivohum on Mar 17, 2011 - 196 comments

'The lies of a newspaper in London can get a bloke's head caved-in down an alley in Bradford.'

Richard Peppiatt, a reporter for the British tabloid the Daily Star, has quit because of its "hatemongering" anti-Muslim propaganda. This is his resignation letter.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 4, 2011 - 36 comments

How perform newspapers without paper?

The Christian Science Monitor is a well-reputed newspaper. In October 2008 it announced that it would convert its daily printed report to a weekly edition, and decided to focus primarily on its web site. Traffic rise, money don't. [more inside]
posted by - on Mar 2, 2011 - 29 comments

Clifford Doerksen

19th-century newspaper ads for patented stomach cures and digestive aids [...] foregrounded mince pie as the K2 of digestive summits. But for every published warning on the dangers of mince, the newspapers published a poem, essay, or editorial praising it as a great symbol of American cultural heritage or a nostalgic reminder of mother love and better times bygone—or even, as the State of Columbia, South Carolina, asserted in 1901, a beneficial Darwinian instrument that had "thinned out the weak ones" among the pioneering generations.
So wrote Cliff Doerksen in his wonderful, James Beard award-winning article Mince Pie: The Real American Pie. Doerksen not only gives the history of this once most American of foods, he also makes two mince pies from 19th Century recipes to see if they are indeed all that. This is but one of many great articles Doerksen wrote for The Chicago Reader in recent years (links to a selection below the cut). Sadly, Cliff Doerksen passed at the age of 47 just before Christmas. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus on Dec 29, 2010 - 73 comments

Whoever Said Newspapers Can Never Return To Their Glory Days Never Joined A Korean Cult

Whoever Said Newspapers Can Never Return To Their Glory Days Never Joined A Korean Cult [via mefi projects]
An epic story of flower-selling, mass weddings, insane sex rituals, swashbuckling Cold Warriors, white supremacists and neo-segregationists, Barney Frank & Vince Foster, closeted gay Republicans and where the money goes when you order from a sushi restaurant…
posted by JHarris on Nov 17, 2010 - 16 comments

Newspapers and paywalls, some data from The Times

Some data on newspapers and paywalls, as The Times reveals some of their numbers and chooses to look on the bright side of the data, while others are more skeptical. [more inside]
posted by philipy on Nov 2, 2010 - 48 comments

That's a Wrap

Today, The New York Times' Idea of the Day Blog announced that is is officially out of ideas.
posted by Scoop on Oct 12, 2010 - 25 comments

“This should be understood, should not be a surprise and not considered harassment.”

“They threw out what Tribune had stood for, quality journalism and a real brand integrity, and in just a year, pushed it down into mud and bankruptcy,”. Tribune Company - Tales of a Bankrupt Culture: 'Based on interviews with more than 20 employees and former employees of Tribune, Mr. Michaels’s and his executives’ use of sexual innuendo, poisonous workplace banter and profane invective shocked and offended people throughout the company. Tribune Tower, the architectural symbol of the staid company, came to resemble a frat house, complete with poker parties, juke boxes and pervasive sex talk.''“They threw out what Tribune had stood for, quality journalism and a real brand integrity, and in just a year, pushed it down into mud and bankruptcy,” said Ken Doctor, a newspaper analyst with Outsell Inc., a consulting firm. “And it’s been wallowing there for the last 20 months with no end in sight.”'But even as the company foundered, the tight circle of executives, many with longtime ties to Mr. Michaels, received tens of millions of dollars in bonuses.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Oct 7, 2010 - 44 comments

News of the ... Screwed?

Last week, the New York Times magazine published an explosive article about the phone-hacking exploits at the Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid News Of The World under the then-editorship of Andy Coulson, now the the Government's chief of communications. Following the NYT's investigation, questions about the "unhealthy" relationship between the Metropolitan Police and the press (particularly Murdoch's News International, which also includes The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times), and further claims that an independent inquiry was abandoned so as not to upset the Metropolitan Police, assistant Met Commissioner John Yates was questioned [video; 4 mins] on Tuesday by the Home Affairs select committee. Following an emergency debate in Parliament today, which concerned the fact that MPs of all parties may have had their phones hacked (and therefore had their Parliamentary Privilege breached), the Standards and Privileges Committee, the most powerful committee in Parliament, is to open an inquiry which will be able to compel witnesses to give evidence. Meanwhile, former News of the World reporters are coming out the woodwork, claiming that hacking at the paper was "rife", and the pressure is on Coulson to resign his £140,000 job at No. 10, with a poll [pdf] which says 52% of the public says he should go. [more inside]
posted by Len on Sep 9, 2010 - 46 comments

The Sun Won't Come Out Tomorrow

"And This Is Where We Leave Our Annie: For Now" After 86 years, several artists and a major makeover, "Little Orphan Annie" the comic strip has ended... in mid-story. Leaving a hole in the comics page of less than 20 newspapers, the 'Princess of Pluck' already has a comeback planned with a revival of the "Annie" Broadway musical. So, once more, let's all sing that wonderful song... no, not THAT one... this one:
"Who's that little chatterbox
With the pretty auburn locks..."
[more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Jun 13, 2010 - 28 comments

Programmers? Hackers? Journalists.

"The Journalist as Programmer" is an academic, ethnographic case study (pdf), which considers whether the New York Times' Interactive Newsroom Technologies unit, source of the paper's Open Source Developer Network, should be thought of as a template for the future of Web Journalism. Slide Deck. (Previously on MeFi.) NYMag profile of the INT team from '09: The New Journalism: Goosing the Gray Lady. ("What are these renegade cybergeeks doing at the New York Times? Maybe saving it.")
posted by zarq on May 24, 2010 - 5 comments

Still Only Five Cents!

Frankenstein Defeats Evil Computer. Mysterious Grass-Roots Gal-Revolt Rocks Gotham! Are Hippies Slowing Down Space Progam in Protest? Headlines ripped from the pages of such great newspapers as the Daily Bugle and the Gotham Gazette await you at Dateline: Silver Age.
posted by gamera on Apr 30, 2010 - 16 comments

The Liberal Moment has Come

Since 1945 the proprietor-free Guardian has supported all 3 major parties, and after an editorial meeting last week, they have declared for the Liberal Democrats. The Economist yesterday published their support for the conservatives: Who Should Govern Britain?, which only really leaves The Independent with any question over who they'll back. [more inside]
posted by gregjones on Apr 30, 2010 - 48 comments

I am the son and the heir of nothing in particular.

"What are you f**king playing at?” Mr Murdoch asked Mr Kelner in a loud voice and in front of dozens of bemused journalists."
This week, 300,000 copies of the UK's Independent newspaper were distributed for free advertising the paper's claim to editorial independence stating, "Rupert Murdoch won’t decide this election – you will".

According to the Financial Times, Murdoch's son James subsequently stormed into the Independent's newsroom brandishing a copy of the edition, protesting it besmirched his father’s reputation. "Lively times," the Guardian observes.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 22, 2010 - 62 comments

Times and Sunday Times websites to charge from June

"The Times and Sunday Times newspapers will start charging to access their websites in June, owner News International (NI) has announced. Users will pay £1 for a day's access and £2 for a week's subscription. The move opens a new front in the battle for readership and will be watched closely by the industry."(BBC) Some early reactions from other newspapers. Interview with Times editor about the charges. Previously
posted by blue funk on Mar 27, 2010 - 87 comments

The Great West Coast Newspaper War

The alt-weekly newspaper war in San Francisco - The titanic struggle between The Bay Guardian and SF Weekly (owned by Village Voice Media), as told by Eli Sanders of Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger.
posted by Artw on Mar 20, 2010 - 23 comments

Sleepwalking into Oblivion

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger on paywalls and the future of journalism.
posted by Artw on Jan 25, 2010 - 14 comments

Human Relations in the new millenium

If you're going to kill off an entire section of a newspaper and fire all of the staffers who work there, it's probably a good idea to get the Twitter password first. [more inside]
posted by minimii on Jan 1, 2010 - 25 comments

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