Patterico's Pontifications

2/12/2007

Tim Rutten: “MY Newspaper Will Never Sell Out . . . [Looks Down] . . . D’OH!!!”

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Humor — Patterico @ 12:02 am



The L.A. Times‘s Tim Rutten has a column about media coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith. While noting that wall-to-wall TV coverage was to be expected, there was a new twist:

What was different here was the way in which she made the leap from tabloid covers to the front pages of ostensibly serious newspapers.

The mainstream journalistic coverage of Smith’s death is among the first such stories driven, in large part, by an editorial perception of public interest derived mainly from Internet traffic. Throughout the afternoon Thursday, editors across the country watched the number of “hits” recorded for online items about Smith’s death. These days, it’s the rare newspaper whose meeting to discuss the content of the next day’s edition doesn’t include a recitation of the most popular stories on the paper’s website. It’s a safe bet that those numbers helped shove Anna Nicole Smith onto a lot of front pages.

Rutten warns of the dangers of newspapers falling prey to the “numbers game” of chasing Internet hits, and says:

Standing on the cusp of this inevitable transformation, it’s a good moment for American newspapers to take a reflective breath to consider just how they want to play this numbers game — or, more important, whether they want to play it at all.

If that were to occur, then Anna Nicole Smith would not have died in vain.

Indeed.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention . . . here’s a screenshot of the Google Ads under Rutten’s column:

anna-nicole-google-ads.JPG

Heh.

P.S. Yes, I know. Those with Google ads don’t pick the topics, and the topics play off the content of the post or article to which they are attached. It’s still funny.

12 Responses to “Tim Rutten: “MY Newspaper Will Never Sell Out . . . [Looks Down] . . . D’OH!!!””

  1. Standing on the cusp of this inevitable transformation, it’s a good moment for American newspapers to take a reflective breath to consider just how they want to play this numbers game — or, more important, whether they want to play it at all.

    If that were to occur, then Anna Nicole Smith would not have died in vain.

    I’m sure that’s the way Anna Nicole would have wanted it, Pat.

    Dan Collins (208fbe)

  2. (just testing–both comments I made on your ANS posts seem to have been swallowed up into cyberspace. And only those.)

    kishnevi (03a14b)

  3. Freaky.
    OK: here’s what I tried to say before:
    It would have been ever better if the results I usually get from Google Ads had shown up.

    Purchase Anna Nicole Smith now!
    shopping.com

    kishnevi (03a14b)

  4. The rate of decline of public taste seems to be increasing, if possible. In the 1930s, there was a huge demand for screwball comedies. Many had a theme of the guy (they were usually guys) who looked like a tramp but was secretly a famous author. Then there was the birth of Superman and bunch of other comic book heroes. I wonder if the fascination with Princess Di and Anna Nicole are symptoms of a flight from reality as we face the new existential threat from Muslim fanatics.

    Sorry to be philosophical this early in the morning. There are all sorts of parallels between now and the 1930s. Except, of course, that the economy is booming.

    Mike K (416363)

  5. is it possible to write a blog post tacitly dismissing anna nicole smith as unworthy of all this coverage without blogging about anna nicole smith? patterico, fess up, you put an anna nicole smith item on your blog so you could get more hits too, and maybe because you’re the real father of her baby.

    assistant devil's advocate (70a559)

  6. Who isn’t?

    Leviticus (43095b)

  7. “…These days, it’s the rare newspaper whose meeting to discuss the content of the next day’s edition doesn’t include a recitation of the most popular stories on the paper’s website.”

    Anyone know if that’s true?

    Its an interesting admission, if it is. It says my morning newspaper’s editors are watching internet traffic right now to determine what to put on tomorrow’s front page rather than the AP/UPI feed.

    Actually I suspect it very well might be true.

    Dwilkers (4f4ebf)

  8. I’m gonna rush out right now to get my ANS Trimspa water bottle!

    Clark Baker (337440)

  9. When notable Ferengi¹ die, their vacuum dissicated remains are auctioned off. I wonder how many bidders we’d have for Mrs Smith’s vacuum dissicated remains, if that was what was done with her body.
    ____________
    ¹ – See the best Star Trek series, Deep Space Nine.

    Dana (3e4784)

  10. “reflective breath…”

    If one’s breath is reflecting anything, that person would be well advised to get an appointment with a medical professional ASAP.

    allan (a98fa3)

  11. is it possible to write a blog post tacitly dismissing anna nicole smith as unworthy of all this coverage without blogging about anna nicole smith? patterico, fess up, you put an anna nicole smith item on your blog so you could get more hits too, and maybe because you’re the real father of her baby.

    There’s a time when I would have done that, ada. This time, I posted only because of the irony.

    Patterico (a8fa4a)

  12. I’ve been finding the coverage just amazing. I was also surprised at my own reaction. I think it was mostly just the tragedy of a baby losing her mother rather than anything else.

    The people deliberately placing ads and making sites to profit off all this just sadden me.

    Stephanie (30c370)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.1613 secs.