Friday, January 04, 2008

San Angelo editor emeritus, sacked, hits media biz

Today was Perry Flippin's last day as editor emeritus and columnist at the San Angelo Standard-Times, a 25,000-circulation daily in west-central Texas. In his final column yesterday, he attacked the industry in which he had worked for 42 years, saying it no longer emphasizes public service. We're glad the E.W. Scripps Co. paper has kept the column online. It's headlined "Columnist caught up in newspapers' changing times."

"Today, instead of serving primarily as watchdogs, we deliver entertainment fodder interspersed with glitzy ads for consumers. The newspaper's value is measured not by how well it reflects and elevates its community, but by how much money it makes," Flippin wrote.

"How do CEOs earn fat bonuses? In part, by putting loyal and talented employees such as me on the street. As an owner of company stock, I am conflicted. Without drastic measures, the value of my stock will plummet. Yet the salvation of newspapers may come only when Wall Street gets out of the news biz and puts presses back in the hands of private owners -- as it was before this roller coaster ride began." (Read more) For more on Flippin's career, from The Associated Press, click here.


Kent Flanagan, aka Punster, said...

Perry Flippen's observations are not new, but nonetheless, what he has written about the state of corporate newspapers today is worthy of discussion. All absentee newspaper owners should not be painted with the same broad brush of criticism, but they all should take a close look at how they conduct the business of attracting and retaining subscribers and readers. When owners look only from one fiscal quarter to the next as the measure of a newspaper's success, they have missed the very reason for the existence of newspapers. News and information is not simply produced to wrap around ads. Without compelling news content, a newspaper fails itself and its readers. Truthtelling does not come cheap.

AgentAndrew said...

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