The [Tuesday] Papers
By Steve Rhodes
1. "The South Side may just be the worst place to be buried in Illinois," the SouthtownStar reports.
"In the wake of revelations of a massive grave-reselling scheme at Alsip's Burr Oak Cemetery, state authorities say they're being bombarded with complaints about misdeeds at other cemeteries - all on the South Side or in the south suburbs."
2. University of Illinois trustee Lawrence Eppley (D-Blago) will try to explain himself today.
3. Now cometh the Daily Herald with a monster package on red-light cameras, suddenly the media topic du jour:
"[A] Daily Herald investigation reveals serious questions about whether cameras are being placed where they are likely to reduce crashes - or where they'll raise the most cash from unsuspecting drivers."
And as I write today in Red Light Runaround on NBCChicago.com:
"The DH also found that the cameras aren't taking dangerous drivers off the road; not a single license has been suspended among multiple violators despite millions of tickets being issued.
"If a system was being designed with safety in mind, it wouldn't be designed this way.
"But what 'works' about red-light cameras is the revenue they generate."
4. "There's bad news for those who sell traditional marketing channels: Six in ten marketers surveyed by Forrester Research Inc. will increase their interactive marketing budgets by shifting funds from traditional media," DirectMag.com reports.
"[O]nline display advertising, which currently stands at $7.83 billion, will rise by 17% annually, ending up at $16.9 billion in 2014. Search marketing, which currently sucks up $15.39 billion in spending, will jump by 15%, to $31.59 billion, and e-mail, now at $1.25 billion, will increase 11%, to 2.08 billion."
5. Dear Forbes: Take Peoria, Please.
7. BidClerk: The Construction Project Search Engine.
8. Hot Pursuit Specials at PropertyRoom.com.
9. "The best view from indoors is on Deck 13's Vortex bar, but in exchange for its near-wraparound window you must suffer its 'douchey young people' atmosphere, complete with TVs and speakers blasting new staleness from bands like Seether and older staleness like that Rob Thomas-Carlos Santana collaboration. That said, the tunes are nothing against the blunt-edged coastal cliffs of northern British Columbia."
- Our very own Scott Gordon in today's installment of Serenade Of The Seas
10. Ed Burke: Daley's biggest enabler?
11. "Perhaps face paint is a solution to a problem we needn't especially concern ourselves with," our very own Andrew Reilly writes in The White Sox Report.
12. "The experiences of African American executives and Asian American contractors are an accumulation of everyday experience. I see my brother-in-law, whose credential as an attorney does not mean a thing to cab drivers who refuse to serve African Americans; or my father, who was turned away from a tax preparation job despite scoring at a 98 percentile on the test, due to his heavy Korean accent."
- Our very own Kiljoong Kim writes in Affirmative Asian American Action
13. "The decline in investigative reporting - the in-depth stories that hold the powerful accountable in a democracy - began long before the current economic collapse," reports PBS's Expose. "The crisis that has pundits worried about the survival of serious journalism in America began with what the journalism industry did to itself."
"Expose analyzed the financial records of the five most profitable publicly-traded newspaper companies in America. Not only was each profitable during last year's apocalyptic financial collapse - averaging nearly $294 million in profits each - but when adjusted for inflation, the profits these media giants made in 2008 were higher than their 20-year average profits.
"In other words, even in the worst economy since the Great Depression, these top media companies made more profit than they had on average for the past two decades."
"[N]ewsroom cuts, which Farnen said really began in the 1990s, hurt the quality of the news. When studies link quality and profit, most use a definition of quality that largely mirrors the bedrock attributes of investigative reporting: in-depth, accurate, fair, issues-oriented, enterprise reporting.
"'In the newsroom, they began cutting good reporters - and investigative reporting really took a hit,' she said. 'They were liquidating the brand. They were selling it off. People began to say, well, why am I buying the newspaper?'"
"The connection between investing in the newsroom and making a profit in newspapers has been shown time and time again since then, Thorson said. Three decades' worth of research show more people buy a newspaper when the quality is high. Studies show the same holds true for television journalism."
This isn't just wish fulfillment; just look at the auto industry - or any other industry, really - and see if quality matters.
But when marketing, advertising and financial executives pressed their values onto newsrooms - and newsrooms sat back and took it, in part because they were intellectually unmatched in understanding their own business - quality became a fanciful notion of the hopelessly ideal instead of the core value of the product at hand.
"Circulation began to drop, long before the internet became ubiquitous."
And sometimes at the behest of newspaper companies themselves looking to rid themselves of less desirable readers who brought down their demographics. But trying to serve a luxury audience wasn't met with, as we've seen, a luxury product, and thus, newspapers ended up in no-man's land.
The Beachwood Tip Line: Txtbk stff.
Posted on July 14, 2009
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