Tag Archives: national post

Old modes of production die with the depression…

A few weeks ago I blogged about how I thought land line phones and cable TV would be among the first items to go as people cut budgets. In contrast Cell phones and internet would be among the last (can you imagine trying to find a job without an internet connection?)

Well I forgot to mention that newspapers would be the other obvious target… why spend to get a newspaper when you can get the content online for less or for free?

So I was probably rash in saying that traditional telephone companies (are there any left?) and cable companies would be among the first to feel the pinch. It is going to be newspaper companies. The end is going to come fast and furious. It won’t be pretty.

For my American friends there is already talk about how much trouble the New York Times is in. Indeed, as one industry observer points out, the NYT may not survive past MAY – although by drawing down on its credit and selling assets (like the Boston Red Sox’s) it can survive until 2010.

Here in Canada the situation is bleaker. CanWest, which owns the National Post as well as newspapers in most of the country’s major markets (such as the Vancouver Sun, here in my home town), has reported Q1 losses and its stock continues to free fall. Having lost 92% of its value in the last year it may no longer be able to meet its debt servicing requirements. It turns out that buying more newspapers is not the solution for newspaper companies. A bigger broken business model doesn’t, at some point, transform into a working business model.

The old modes of production are in trouble. Today it’s print, but TV/video better not assume the same pressures won’t be confronting them in the near future.

WordClouding Harper, Dion and neo-progressivism

Just got back from the Banff Forum this weekend where I had a great time making new friends, meeting up with old friends and – with Taylor – doing a panel where we discussed our Canadian Literary Review (LRC)article on how the Left is killing progressive politics. The audience gave us lots of positive feedback and, more importantly, new insights which is always both encouraging and helpful.

On the same day I discovered – thanks to the National Post (hey, it was delivered free to my hotel room) – a great site called wordle.net which creates word clouds out of any text or web page you submit it. Very cool stuff. The National Post ran each of the party’s policy platforms through wordle which I thought was creative for a newspaper (hard to imagine the Globe doing something like that). Sadly, I wish I could link to the images, but they don’t seem to available online.

Turns out the Star (using Tagcrowd) has also been creating clouds out of the speeches Dion and Harper gave one day apart at the Empire and Canadian Clubs in Toronto. Notice how the words Stephan and Dion don’t appear in Harper’s cloud whereas Stephen and Harper are among the most used words by Dion? Interesting. Also of note? Dion seems to think “jobs” will resonate, whereas Harper seems to believe “taxes” will.

Anyway, to come back to the LRC piece, I was so inspired by these tags I decided I’d create one for the LRC piece. Tada:

Created using Wordle.net

Newspapers as the jilted ex…

Oh newspaper, despite your protestations I’m not so sure I’m going to miss you. That said I’m not sure you are actually going anywhere – you may be getting a massive make over though. But then, I think a new you is exactly what you need. Everybody else seems to agree.

Of course, the TV news guys said the same thing when I broke up with them. And other than the odd fling once or twice a year, I’ve never looked back.

Plus, trolling? That’s the best you could come up with? And you really believe that only a print newspaper journalist could have snagged that story? Sigh, we really live in different universes (or at least mediums) now.

Please stop. All this  complaining just makes you less attractive.