Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The New Indianapolis Star

I went out to get my Indianapolis Star this morning. Reaching in the mailbox, I only found an extremely thin stack of papers. My newspaper carrier had missed me on his route and someone overnight had put some advertising materials in my Star mailbox.

Or so I thought. When I returned to the light of the house, I found what I had in my hands was the Indianapolis Star.

At the start of the year, the Indianapolis Star made yet more changes to the paper, consolidating sections and reducing pages. The publisher of course boasted that the changes were to better serve the readers of the Star. I'm not sure how long Gannett can continue the spin. Almost all the local news has been banished from the paper. The city-state section today took about 3 minutes to read. Here on the opening day of the Indiana General Assembly, there were plenty of stories that the Star could have reported.

Is it any wonder why decision-makers are turning more and more to blogs to get information they are not getting from the mainstream media? I have always been a big defender of the role of the media in politics, including the service provided by newspapers, particularly in the area of state and local politics. But, again, the Indianapolis Star has let me down.

6 comments:

Diana Vice said...

I have an extra copy of a book entitled, The Chain Gang, One Newspaper versus the Gannett Empire" written by Richard McCord if you're interested. It's very enlightening. When the Star was sold to Gannett, it ceased being a local newspaper.

Here's one review of the book written by Ben H. Bagdikian, media critic and Pultizer Prize winner:

"Richard McCord's The Chain Gang takes the losing battle for the soul of American newspapers from the euphoric accounts on financial pages to show what corporate news chains can mean in human terms to the people and the vitality of the victimized cities and towns. He is a unique account of th epower and depredations of the Gannett Chain under its glib empire builder, Allen Neuharth. It goes behind the facade of slick public relations and financial killings for investors to show what happens when a ruthless and ambitious wheeler-dealer gets control of the news."

You may not be able to find the book at the local library, because for some reason they seem to get "lost".

You're right, Paul, the mainstream media (and I use that term loosely because they're really not mainstream at all) is losing its credibility and are become irrelevant.

Studies have indicated that most Americans get their news from the Internet. I predict that your blog will increase in traffic, because you're not afraid to call a spade a spade and you have real integrity which is lacking on other blogs. You know you're over the target when you get lots of flak. Put on your flak jacket and keep firing.

Pete Boggs said...

Like many in the old media or mediacre (paper or plastic), they've got a product problem (that journalism thing). Consumers, now more properly seated as editor & chief, are selecting their own "preferred media."

melyssa said...

The Star is so bad, I don't even visit their free website anymore. They know better than to ever ask me to subscribe again.

You would think that they would listen to their customers. But they know more than us.

Remember when they used Intake to try to take over NUVO's advertisers? Intake used the Gannett muscle to offer NUVO's advertisers ads at 10 cents on the dollar to try to put NUVO (independent media) out of business.

I've hated them ever since I found that out. NUVO might be liberal, but they are cool, speak their own mind freely, and have soul.

Gannett, Indy Star, and Indy.com are souless and watching their demise is oddly satisfying.

Once the Indy Star printed my full name on the front page of the paper and told this whole town I "abused" men for money. That hurt me so deeply, I cannot even begin to express it. You see, one can't abuse when consent is freely given. And the Indy Star callously mislead a lot of people about what it is that I did.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Well, Melyssa, the Star is so skimpy anymore that I doubt you could make the front page again. I guess there are good things associated with the Star getting thinner and thinner.

Anonymous said...

If you can afford a computer and the internet, that is where the news is and the print medias knows it. The majority will remain ignorant to certain information because the newspapers will not print the facts.

Maybe the Star is going out of business like some other newspapers

Anonymous said...

Hoosiers don't think or read; they simply need to know what Payton Manning did.

I'll tell you, Indiana is a police-state laboratory, and the residents really don't mind.