Monthly Archives: February 2012

Powerful photo

By Chris Daly

From the New York Times comes this powerful photo by photographer Andrea Bruce. It is lit almost like a Caravaggio painting, with its dramatic chiaroscuro. The lighting that falls on the averted face at the lower right adds, if it is possible, to the poignancy of the scene. (The original caption read: “In Grip of Cold, Afghan Family Mourns Death of 8th Child: The mother of Khan Mohammad, a 3-month-0ld boy who died because of exposure, in a camp in Kabul, Afghanistan.)

At the same time that this photo captures a pitiful human tragedy, it also raises questions that go right to the heart of the big policy questions: What are we doing in Afghanistan anyway? After 10 years of involvement, why do babies freeze to death? If we are that ineffective, then leave. If it is just helpless no matter who intervenes, then leave. If al Qaeda is busted up and bin Laden is dead, then leave.

New York Times/ Andrea Bruce

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Why I left the Catholic Church

Because of guys like this:

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Good point

Nick Bilton asks: Where is his share of the value he has helped to create in Facebook by using it?

The essential value of the company is users. No users = no Facebook. So, in that sense the users are both the employees and the shareholders, no?

Photo by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News.

Mark Zuckerberg speaking at a Facebook conference last September.

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Murdoch’s dream

By Chris Daly 

Rupert Murdoch had a dream.

Unlike you or me, he is in a position to spend millions making his dreams come true. According to today’s Times, Murdoch is making headway with his online-only, tablet-only news outlet, The Daily. He has something like 100,000 subscribers, many of them in the heartland. So, that’s a start.

I have to admit that I am not familiar with it, because Murdoch charges for access and because any money I would spend on it (even in the name of research) would end up in his pocket. So, I won’t subscribe. I don’t want you to subscribe either, I just want you to know about it.

 

 

 

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Another online news source?

It’s Monday, so. . .

 

David Carr likes BuzzFeed. Like him, I am delighted to see any new outfit that A) makes money and B) hires journalists to do original reporting.

Personally, I think the BuzzFeed homepage is ugly. Does that count for anything?

The takeaway from Carr’s column:

Sitting in the coffee area of BuzzFeed’s offices on West 21st Street in Manhattan, he [BuzzFeed creator Jonah Peretti] pointed out that there is nothing more viral than news that no one else has, so it makes sense to create some.

Hmmm… Is he onto something?

 

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Murdoch Hacking Scandal (cont)

More on the drip-drip-drip investigation into misbehavior by Murdoch employees in the U.K.

Can the U.S. investigation(s) be far behind?

It’s sad to see journalists waging a cover-up, but I suppose no one wants to go to jail.

 

 

 

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Good news/ bad news

By Chris Daly

The latest financial results from the New York Times Co. present another mixed bag. Overall, the company continues to struggle, for familiar reasons: advertising from printing the newspaper continues to decline.

On the bright side, though, the company is making headway in figuring out how to make money on the Web. Today’s Boston Globe carries a story — never an easy or welcome assignment, to write about the owners.

The key parts:

Digital advertising revenues at the News Media Group increased 5.3 percent to $71.1 million due to growth in national and retail display advertising.

And this:

Subscribers to digital packages and e-reader versions of The Times and the International Herald Tribune totaled approximately 390,000 as of the end of the fourth quarter, an increase of 20 percent from the third quarter.

So, the trends are good, but the scale of online advertising is still not enough to float a company that had total revenues of $2.3 billion last year. Look for the Times Co. to sell off more of its assets in order to protect the flagship.

Latest stock price: $7.70 a share

All-time high:       $51.88 a share (July 2002)

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Campaign watch

In light of Mitt Romney’s verbal stumble this week, it is worth remembering this political definition from journalist Michael Kinsley:

A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth.

Brilliant.

 

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