If it’s not in the newspaper, that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Just because the newspaper says it’s important, that doesn’t mean it is.

Don’t confuse ink with traction. You can hire a PR person, be all over the media, and no one can care.

Just because you’re on TV, don’t assume everyone’s seen you.

Don’t assume anyone’s seen anything in the media today, we’re all so drilled down into our own little holes that everybody misses much, and doesn’t care when they’re called out on it. The concept of feeling better about yourself because you know about something somebody else does not, or you know it sooner, is passe.

Don’t trust the newspaper. Those are reporters. We want someone who lives that beat all day long, not someone who does a bit of research and tries to put the story together. Old school journalists are concerned with the w’s, the where, when, why and…how. You can only get so far asking questions. But if you live it all day long, you know the history and you know the context. Chances are, on everything other than front page news, there’s a maven online with a website who knows more about it than the traditional reporters.

Reporters get it wrong. Not only do they misquote, they make stuff up. And oftentimes, editors change things so they’re not accurate, sometimes to justify their jobs, other times for space.

If someone’s in the media, being interviewed and quoted everywhere, they’re a whore, they’re into the publicity. Anybody with a profile knows that the media gets it wrong, so they do their best to stay out. So if you see someone incessantly, whether it be Kim Kardashian or John McCain, know they’re working it.

You can tell your own story online. If you’re concerned about the truth, do so. But the real story is you can’t inform everybody, no longer how much you protest, people will spread rumors and false information. Focus on your work, not the sales pitch.

Almost everything in the newspaper other than hard news, i.e. killings and political situations, is placed there by PR people. PR people make it easy for reporters, they fill up the paper. If you think someone in the arts department sits down and decides the important stories, you’re dreaming. They’re concerned first and foremost with access. That’s what PR people do, deliver stories, they write the newspaper…

TV news is what you see and usually nothing more. Other than sticking a camera in someone’s face, shooting a tragedy, there’s almost no one in the field scouring for news and developing stories. If you think you’re getting the real story on TV, you haven’t read the newspaper, which is where TV gets all its leads.

Rupert Murdoch has a viewpoint. He tries to change public opinion via Fox News and his newspapers. If you see a left wing position in his outlets, it’s a straw man ready to be struck down.

Don’t try to convince someone their political position is wrong. They’ll just dig down deeper and e-mail you a contrary opinion by their favorite blogger. People change their opinions over time, by themselves, via a plethora of information. This is the essence of gay marriage. Once everybody saw everybody else was for it, they were too.

Politicians are last. They stay far from the leading edge and are beholden to corporations. If you’re looking for leadership, you should look to artists. Unfortunately, in today’s challenging financial times, artists have been derelict in their duty, they too want to be beholden to corporations.

Just because someone analyzes deeply, that does not mean they’re right. Today, you must do your own analysis. In other words, you must be educated. Which most people are not. The mark of an educated person? Someone who can hold two opposing thoughts in their brain at one time. If you’re just a knee-jerker…you’re gonna get jerked around.

“The New Yorker” is the best-written mainstream publication. But that does not mean it’s always right or on the cutting edge or can influence policy. It just means it’s the most rewarding reading experience. Too many magazines focus on the glitz and not the substance…then again, the average person can’t understand substance.

You see Kim Kardashian in the news because you want to. Want to banish her? Stop reading the stories.

The press stopped hounding Owen Wilson after his suicide attempt, demonstrating it can exercise restraint. But somehow, it never does. If the press didn’t report every move, would Amanda Bynes fly straight? Lindsay Lohan?

See who is paying the bills… Trust trade magazines and sites for raw data, discard the analysis, they say positive things about those who pay them.

Beware the professional prognosticators… Who said the iPod was too expensive and no one would want the iPad. Now digital music rules and tablets are killing the desktop. Furthermore, reporters on this beat go to the same damn pundits every time, skewing the story. But the iPod and iPad show that the pundits are powerless. The people will do what they want to do.

“Huffington Post” has a better layout than the “New York Times,” but is purely link-bait. The “New York Times” site needs a makeover, but no one working there understands design or the web, they’re too busy pounding their chests and claiming they’re reporters. What did Steve Jobs teach us? Number one comes usability!

“USA Today” is irrelevant. Because its bland stories are done better online, and no one’s got a captive audience anymore, you can get the news on your phone, you don’t need a physical paper.

There’s a need for local news, but local newspapers can’t make it financially. The “New York Times” and “Wall Street Journal” survive, everything else is up for grabs.

People need news. They don’t need to get it from traditional sources.

There’s new news every day, want your story to survive? Keep it alive, keep making news every day.

Kids today know more news than their parents, they’re exposed to it all day long.

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Category: Financial Press, Television, Think Tank

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

9 Responses to “Media Rules”

  1. Bob is still unemployed   says:

    The above also applies to those who hawk their own newsletters, probably more so since they are playing to a very targeted self-selected audience.

  2. tbentz says:

    I live in a medium-sized town in Maryland. My observation is that the local paper survives, because people like the local news that’s archived there, like pictures of Rotary Club officers giving out an award, high-school sports news, obituaries, and local ads, for things like yard sales. They also like news about the local government, board of ed, and so on.

  3. VennData says:

    The message is the media.

    How do we get everyone in the country to read this?

  4. RW says:

    Very good points but pardon a quibble: This — “The mark of an educated person? Someone who can hold two opposing thoughts in their brain at one time.” — is incoherent (or equally true of a psychotic) unless you qualify it as Aristotle did; e.g., [the educated person is] someone who can hold two opposing thoughts in their brain at one time without accepting either of them.

  5. spooz says:

    Speaking of McCain…from Salon’s “President McCain Declares War!:
    “Actually, and thankfully, John McCain is not the president. If he were we’d be involved in something like 16 ground wars right now. But he is using his position as the senator everyone in the press listens to to goad the U.S. into actually getting involved in this war properly. He is doing this because he believes war to be the solution to all problems. McCain sees U.S. armed intervention as a magical force that will inevitably bring about the best possible outcome. McCain thinks this because he is a simplistic hawk. In any given foreign conflict, McCain thinks Doing Something is the right action, and Doing Something means an armed response, and the outcome will always necessarily have to be positive. Despite — actually probably because of — this magical thinking, he is treated, still, as an authority and a wise elder statesman by the political press. He is not treated like an old crank obsessed with war and unable to grasp the possible negative effects of conflict.”

  6. MayorQuimby says:

    Excellent! But HuffPo and NY Times have as obvious an agenda as anything from Fox or Drudge.

    Great week for TBP – tons of great posts – thanks to barry and all other contributors. Enjoyed it!

  7. SumDumGuy says:

    Whoa! Here I’m reading someone writing something shilling his newsletter (Leftsetz Letter), yet I think he’s spot on writing about how I shouldn’t trust people shilling their newsletter! (Mind officially blown!!!)

  8. SumDumGuy says:

    How about “publicizing his ideas”? ;-)