Various Items

I survived Christmas, but I'm still digesting the last few days of Congress.  I also need to close out my series on the D&C.  Until then, here are a few items in no particular order:

  • Those of you interested in new media might want to read an interview with Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist.  Craigslist is a company of about two dozen people with the goal of bringing free classified ads to the world.  Money quote:
Newspapers have much bigger problems. Newspapers are going after 10% to 30% profit margins for their businesses and that hurts them more than anything. A lot of things are happening on the Internet that never happened before because the Internet is a vehicle for everyone. The mass media is no longer only for the powerful, and that's a huge change for the entire newspaper and news industry.
In the old media model, with huge presses or transmitters and large technically-adept staffs, a 20% profit margin was necessary to attract investors willing to finance the overhead in return for a share of the profit.  In the new media model, major capital investments are no longer part of the picture, so media can run on a low- (or no-) profit, sustainability model.  In other words, today's media can be more like a small business than a major corporation.  That's a tremendous shift in the media business model that we're just starting to see nationally in sites like Craigslist or TPM Media.  The shock waves of that shift are just starting to be felt in our local markets, but when they hit, it's going to be an interesting ride.
  • I like watching the HBO series The Wire.  The show takes on different issues in inner-city Baltimore, including the War on Drugs, Education and Unions.  It's written by two veteran reporters for the Baltimore Sun.   This year's theme is journalism, and it will be fascinating to see the parallels between the D&C's role in inner-city Rochester, and the Sun's in Baltimore.
  • This week's Massa press conference was canceled due to the holidays.