Vultures circling, Denver Post calls for its own sale

Anyone who understands the importance of a strong, free press will be disturbed about the precarious state of journalism in Colorado.

So dire is the situation that the Denver Post today called out its owner, a New York City hedge fund, for yet another round of cutbacks. It called on Alden Global Capital to sell the newspaper to an owner that is “willing to do good journalism.”

The Denver Post has done good journalism for decades but is being starved of the resources it needs to continue. These are challenging times for most news organizations, yet many, including The Post, can and do remain viable if that’s what ownership wants.

The Post’s ability to fulfill its important role in the community has been diminished by round after round of greed-induced reductions in newsroom personnel. The latest cuts will further damage its ability to keep us informed.

I could go on, but read the newspaper’s own call for action and act accordingly:

As vultures circle, The Denver Post must be saved

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“Good content can’t be free”

That’s a direct quote from an opinion piece by Bloomberg View columnist Leonid Bershidsky. It ran a few days ago in the Denver Post, which I read both in print and online. I pay for it.

In the context of Bershidsky’s piece, I could not agree more. He writes about the trend toward paywalls that real news organizations use to get paid. The jury is still out on how well that will work out, but news consumers will pay and should pay for good, trustworthy reporting.

I also could not agree more with his statement in another context: News organizations and others that charge for their content or that generate ad revenue by providing content should pay the people who write it.

Good content can’t be free.

Bershidsky points out that the Huffington Post, which has a history of getting something for nothing from gullible writers, has “scaled back its platform for unpaid bloggers.” That’s a step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough.

I don’t imagine the Huffington Post cares, since it is on the receiving end of a content giveaway, but writers who donate their work to help such companies make a profit demean themselves. They also drive down compensation and dry up opportunities for professional writers, freelance and otherwise. (Much of what they give away is crap, too. It’s true that you get what you pay for.)

Until such platforms for unpaid bloggers are gone, or those bloggers stop giving their work away, I won’t be reading anything that companies like the Huffington Post publish. Neither should you.

Knives and hammers are irrelevant when the topic is death by gunfire

Denver Post columnist Jon Caldara left out some important numbers in his attempt to trivialize the role of rifles in U.S. mass murders and to mock the growing outrage that millions of Americans feel over our monstrous epidemic of death by gunfire.

boy-958478_1920bHe accuses people of focusing on and misunderstanding assault rifles, as if those details were all-important, while entirely missing the much larger picture of this nation’s gun fetish himself. He points out that rifles were used in only a tiny fraction of last year’s 11,004 homicides by firearm (So what?) and he completely ignores some 20,000 or so other gunfire deaths.

It’s true that there is no media sizzle in the deaths of one or two people at a time. To our eternal shame, most of the 93 individual deaths per day by gun are not newsworthy on a national scale because we are so used to them and there are just too damn many of them.

Caldara can rest assured that a single mass murder by knife, blunt instrument or hammer would make the national news. There would be sizzle, but those murders would still be irrelevant to guns.

The Trump metaphor for attack on the U.S. Constitution

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The video of Donald Trump’s attack on CNN is a visual metaphor for his own vicious assault on freedom of the press. He swore to preserve, protect and defend the U.S. Constitution but clearly does not respect the rights it guarantees us.
He does not respect you or anyone else.
He clearly is unfit to be president of the United States of America.
 
I’ve seen many comments on the video from his supporters, cheering the image of the “president” taking down the media. Some think it is funny. There is nothing funny about it. It is a serious threat and an incitement to violence against American citizens.
 
Speak out against this.

What y’all owe me, and I owe you

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You don’t read much poetry.
That’s an assumption on my part,
and I can’t say that I blame you.

Poetry is for everybody but
it can be hard to understand
or appreciate, and
it doesn’t always rhyme
and what the hell is up with that?

So this isn’t poetry,
because I want you to read it.

It is my opinion.
It is about what I think
you owe me and
what I owe you
and what we both deserve
as human beings.

We owe each other our honesty.

We owe each other our
best efforts to understand
the differences between news
and disinformation,
between facts and what people
are calling “fake news,”
which is a tricky new term for lies.

I could go on about
what news is
from the perspective of a guy
who studied journalism
and who wrote and edited news
for newspaper readers.

I’ll spare you that
(you’re welcome)
because I think
you already know what news is.

About those best efforts
that we owe each other:

I’m going to trust that the words
and pictures and videos
that you share with me and
the rest of the world
are not lies.

I need to be able to trust
that you think hard about
what you share before you share it.

I will not lie to you.

Let’s not disappoint each other.
Deal?

HWGA: Let the air out of it already

In hindsight, I see that I should have said “underinflated” rather than “overinflated” in my February 1 post.

Surely there is real news out there somewhere.

Move on, people.

FCOL.