…. The More They Stay the Same

Writing in Slate magazine, Jack Shafer notices that perhaps, maybe, the best way to run a news operation is to lower one’s profit expectations. He examines some 1972 editions of the NY Times and Washington Post, noting an overall high level of quality, smaller staff, smaller and less diverse “soft” sections (such as Style, etc.), and no shame about using wire copy (not that that last bit is any different today).

The message — for me, anyway — seems to be that digital technology and business expectations imported from Wall Street really aren’t what defines a newspaper’s success, but rather, and simply, the practice of journalism itself:

“The Newspaper of the Future / If we’re lucky, it will look something like the newspaper of the past”
Slate.com, July 3, 2007

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