[qi:004] Howard Kurtz, media columnist for The Washington Post, in a harsh critique of the newspaper industry, writes today that:
The people who run such companies bear a considerable share of the blame. In 1993, just before the Internet became a consumer force, I argued in a book that newspapers had become too cautious, too incremental and too dull, tailored largely for insiders. The rise of hugely profitable monopoly papers in most cities made them increasingly bland, seemingly allergic to controversy.
In other words, the newspaper industry is no different from the U.S. automobile sector — markedly out of step with the mainstream buyers of their products.
Things are bad out there. Many of my friends are out of work, while others are secretly dreading the day when the axe falls. Predictably, many blame the likes of Google for their woes. Yet Kurtz points out that his own employer is talking to Google in an effort to figure out new ways to make money. So is The New York Times.
Let me see if I have this straight: Instead of coming up with a smart strategy and innovating, they’re going to Google to help fix their own mess. If an industry can’t think for itself, well, what do you call it? How about dumb, fat and lazy?
Just to be very, very clear, I am not talking about the working stiffs — the journalists who pound the pavement, every day, looking for news and their editors. I am talking about the members of the executive suite, which who with every passing day prove themselves to be as calcified as the remains of a T. rex.