Web publishing zealot Jeff Jarvis like to yell Darwinian slogans at print journalists . "There is no divine right for newsroom jobs," he wrote earlier this month. "Nor is printing and trucking an eternal verity of the field." It was surprising, then, to hear the media futurist's complaint about today's cover story on him in the Observer: The paper didn't promote his new dead-trees book! And after he gave the reporter so much of his precious time:
With the full onset of consistently declining revenues and mass layoffs, newspapers have now finally accepted the depth of their plight. Now the war wages on as to how — and whether — print can become more commercially viable through innovation. In an article discussing how industries rework themselves to stay relevant, the NYT blissfully throws doubt on her ability to survive in this economic climate. Is there at least some solution that could save the local paper?The bitter feud between Slate's Ron Rosenbaum and new media simpleton Jeff Jarvis aside, both do agree that newspapers are in deep shit. The Times' Catherine Rampell dismisses the clamor over copies of the NYT's election issue, and doesn't see the newspaper becoming "a luxury product." Newspapers are just another industry, and as currently constituted, papers are way behind the curve in ensuring their survival:
Jeff Jarvis, former TV Guide and People TV critic and founder of Entertainment Weekly, is now an internet expert. He was one of those guys who became internet-famous back when there were like six bloggers, all of whom were guys whom 9/11 turned into HAWKISH ACTION HEROES, and they all brayed about the Islamist Menace and felt quite proud of themselves for being former liberals who grew balls and for some reason none of them went away? (Another one of those guys is Nick Denton!) Anyway! Then he became an internet futurist, which means spending a lot of time gloating about the death of print and babbling about the future of media gallivanting around to conferences and "consulting" and just wasting everyone's time with obnoxious writing and simplistic evangelizing for a miserable digital future. Now he's in an immature fight with Ron Rosenbaum, who is much smarter than he is, if also old and blinkered, about THE FUTURE OF JOURNALISM. It's fucking bleak. Rosenbaum just took him down in Slate, partly for his new book about Google that happens to be just made up of things Jeff Jarvis thinks about Google. Here is the important part of the rant:
"Something has changed in the last year or two," Slate's Ron Rosenbaum says of Entertainment Weekly founder turned professional conference-goer Jeff Jarvis. "It's the callous contempt for working journalists that grates. It's a contempt for the beautiful losers." True, it's puzzling to watch new media pundits spit in the faces of all the sad, doomed newspaper reporters whose careers are being eroded by the Internet. Rosenbaum goes way longer than Slate ever lets me write, so I've pull-quoted his best 100 words:
Author James Frey turns 39 today. Another author who has dealt with a bit of controversy is celebrating, too: Jessica Seinfeld, the wife of Jerry Seinfeld, is 37. Restaurateur Stephen Hanson is turning 59. Sculptor Robert Gober is 54. Photographer Nan Goldin is 55. Emmy Rossum is turning 22. Actor Benjamin McKenzie is 30. Book designer Chip Kidd is turning 44. Blogger and former magazine dude Jeff Jarvis is 54. Literary agent David McCormick is 47. Ben Folds is 42. And two American Idol winners are celebrating: Jennifer Hudson is 27 and Ruben Studdard is 30. On Saturday, former Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams will turn 40, Stella McCartney will turn 37, Ben Savage will be 28, and Fiona Apple will celebrate her 31st. On Sunday: Sex and the City producer Michael Patrick King will be 54, Nas will celebrate his 35th, model Carmen Kass will be 30, and former financial titan (and Mike Bloomberg's former boss) John Gutfreund will be 79.
I blame Guy Kawasaki. Ten days after the relentless listmaker joined the advisory board of Vancouver-based citizen journalism hub NowPublic, the site published a link-baiting "The 50 most influential people in New York." We've had this piece in our inboxes since Friday morning, but we couldn't figure out how to get anyone in the Valley to care about a list topped by Noah Brier and Jeff Jarvis. More interesting is me-blogger Anil Dash's take on the genre: "First and foremost, organizations create these lists to promote their own authority." Exactly. We've been pitched to do a Valleywag 100 or Valleywag 40 or whatever by consultants who crank out marketing events for a living. But they balk when we ask for a deck of playing cards emblazoned with the faces of 52 People We Want Gone.
As we reported last week, the Associated Press sent a copyright complaint to a harmless little left-wing news aggregating site demanding they remove posts that featured "39 to 79 words" of their precious, precious copy. Over the weekend, after outrage from various blogs, they retreated. But they're not giving up! Blogs will bow to them! They will set standards, and blogs will naturally decide to follow these standards on their own accord, because that's how bloggers act!
Jeff Jarvis, who invented Entertainment Weekly, used to work for the Chicago Tribune, where his mom would read his stories and then tell him all about them, because the old coot didn't realize he had written them himself. You know, this kind of thing happens. Just yesterday my wife told me about this crazy new publisher that wasn't going to pay advances or accept returns. The daughter of a newspaper bureau chief told me how her dad couldn't get anyone in the family to read his stuff. But Jarvis, now an angry blogger, isn't like the rest of us. He wants to take out what his mom did to him on an entire profession, so today he said on CNN some local newspaper writers should be fired because of his mother:
Last night, Slate launched their new "Hillary Deathwatch," a recurring feature that will measure Hillary Clinton's odds of winning the Democratic nomination for the Presidency. Right now they have her at 12%. Also there is a little cartoon of Hillary Clinton standing atop a sinking ship. Cute! Entertainment Weekly founder and blog evangelist Jeff Jarvis raves: "I never liked Slate. And now I like them less." The truth comes out! Jeff never liked you, Slate. Him and Salon used to make fun of you behind your back in 1998, after Internet High School let out. [Slate]
Writes Jeff Jarvis, the magazine veteran who turned blogger a few years ago:
I was cruising youTube looking for clips of Jason Calacanis' keynote speech today at the Blog Business Summit. Some of the blogs covering the talk had mentioned Jason was filmed and hoped it would be posted online in the near future. I didn't find JC at the BBS, I found something much better, 1938 Media going off on Netscape's Jason Calacanis, Buzz Machine's Jeff Jarvis collectively call them both a-holes for going after PayPerPost. I don't know who 1938 Media is, but he's my new hero.
• Pinch Sulzberger and cousin Michael Golden hope that a $4 million employee bribe might help them keep their jobs for a little while longer. [NYO]
• Jeff Koyen likes the new Times Reader software. Jeff Jarvis does not. If you're still awake after reading those sentences, send us over some of whatever you're on. [Wired]
• CBS' Les Moonves wants to buy "the next YouTube." Probably a savvy move to wait until the current one gets sued out of existence. [Reuters]
• We sort of feel like everyone who watches Nancy Grace should kill themselves; can you guess what we think about her guests? [BG]
• When a guy cites the phenomenally successful "Times Select" model as an example of "where the industry will have to go," it's probably a good idea to discount the rest of what he says as well. [Barnako]
Dell loses at the Internet again today, as the much-maligned computer maker launches a corporate blog full of first-person press releases and in-house videos. (One clip shows how with Dell's revolutionary Remote Support, customers can get frustrated at customer service technicians on their own screen in real-time.) The tech blogging crowd are rolling their eyes.
• Jeff Jarvis thinks everything's about the web. We're as shocked as you are. [Guardian]
• Dana Priest, John Harwood, and Bill Safire gang up on William Bennett. Maybe Bennett can head down to A.C. to console himself. Oh, right. [E&P]
• Shreveport paper concludes Ann Coulter "more about entertainment and self-promotion." Also plagiarism, allegedly. [Shreveport Times]
• In a loft on Spring Street some dude checks his e-mail, doesn't bother to pretend he's paying attention to David Carr. [NYT]
• Edger Bronfman, Jr., won't be happy until he pisses his entire family fortune into the ground. And not in the good, Warren Buffett kind of way. [Guardian]