Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Random Pixels: "Is the Miami Herald past the point of no return?"

Random Pixels asks the question we have ALL been asking for years and especially at Eye On Miami.

A great motivation for starting this blog over 7 years ago! was to provide readers who were interested with stories they / we care about, but that the Herald would not report. (Just look at our "category" list for frequently written topics, to see what I mean.)

The problem with blogs, of course, is that we can only rarely -- when we have the (free) time -- offer in-depth reporting. Mostly, we offer views based on a lifetime of experience with our subject material, gathered as civic activists in Miami.

RP quotes retired Herald reporter, Elinor Brecher: "Yes, the Internet is a major factor, but you can't discount terrible decisions made on both the news side and business side under both Knight-Ridder and McClatchy for hastening the Herald's decline. The governing principle was "give the readers less, ask them to pay more, and expect them to believe they're getting a good deal.'' You can't feed people a shit sandwich and call it roast beef."

Brecher is exactly right, but only EOM has taken it the step further: the terrible decisions were made for a simple reason, to fatten the pension packages of former Herald top executives and publishers. On the one hand, perhaps you can't fault businessmen for just following what every other newspaper/ corporate executive in the U.S. was doing at the time: using the advent of the internet to justify default behavior of stripping the car and selling its parts.

I wish the newspaper industry had fought back harder in Congress. But newspaper execs didn't fight or fought weakly. We are not a better nation for the Devil's bargain, swapping print for the internet.

"You can't feed people a shit sandwich and call it roast beef." Actually you can feed people that bullshit, what you can't do is sell it. What you can do, as a newspaper executive, is run the clock out while padding pensions and compensation. That's what Random Pixels won't say, but we will.


Anonymous said...

Well said. We saw the ugly face of corruption in 2012 when Genting was pushing its gambling project at the old Herald site and contributing heavy to Carlos Gimenez's campaign. We saw every editorial from Michael Putney practically endorsing Gimenez. At El Nuevo Herald it was even worse with Bernadette Pardo and Miriam Marquez pushing for layoffs of county employees and endorsing Gimenez. The thing about corruption is the stench left behind. Marquez was compensated as the new editor for El Nuevo Herald. Bet you won't see many critical articles about Gimenez on that rag of a paper in the near future.

Anonymous said...

Oh please, it's like blaming Henry Ford for the the demise of the buggy whip.

Payback's a bitch....Remember when the Herald killed the Miami News?

Free market can be is a cruel mistress.

Johnny Appleseed said...

While the Herald has certainly not maintained a certain standard, it's really hard to do so when you have idiots as your core readers. Let's face it, any populace that fails to recognize that Rick Scott should be in jail rather than the Governor's Mansion or continues to elect local representatives solely on the basis of how much they hate an 80-year-old island dictator, ain't going to sit down to read anything approaching intelligent discourse over their coffee in the morning.

Quit blaming the Herald. They tried serving steak to a bunch of readers who think a Big Mac is good eating. It doesn't work. It never has.

Slide on over to the Miami New Times and see what keep newspapers afloat these days. Headlines and stories that integrate sexual connotations at every opportunity and vapid, shallow content constructed for the aforementioned Big Mac eaters.

There's your model for success in the South Florida newspaper business these days.

Anonymous said...

Let's make this clear. Miami-Dade voters did NOT vote for Scott. He lost here, but won over the rest of the state. So perhaps there are plenty of other things we have to account for, but don't blame Scott on us.

Anonymous said...

Al Crespo is the investigative arm of Miami's media.

Ted Bell said...

"I wish the newspaper industry had fought back harder in Congress."

Huh? WTF did Congress have to do with the Herald's poor decision making?