The Science of Journalism

If I Had My Way
One Man's Opinion -- for what it's worth.


To: Emily Bell - ebell@columbia.edu

From: Doug Skoglund - skoglund@pdmsb.com

Date: 22 May 2014 06:30 am CDT

Subject: 2014013 - Thank You...

for publishing your e-mail address along with your Columbia University profile.

I have been reading your May 21 post on the Times' Innovation Report -- where you make a number of relevant observations. However, while relevant to the situation at hand, they have absolutely no relevance to the problems at hand. I quote:

However the imprimatur of A.G. Sulzberger and the supersized building serve to illustrate perfectly the Times' dilemma. The report is an earnest and laudable attempt to square the circle of introducing a rapid and lasting culture of change whilst remaining, at core, the same. 

The primary problem confronting the New York Times has been festering for many, many, many years. I have no way of knowing when and how it started; however, I encountered it in September 1942, my freshman year at Edison High in Minneapolis, MN. We took a math/science aptitude test that resulted in special attention for the high scorers.

Because of that test and the resultant split of the incoming students, I was pushed into a math/science curriculum and away from an english/history curriculum. Who knows, I might have become a great writer otherwise.

The anti science bias is still a root cause of Journalism's problems as well as it's inability to clearly define it's plans for future change. The key difference is the ability of scientists to work together toward a common goal.

The problem at hand has nothing to do with method of distribution -- the problem at hand concerns the lack of knowledge of technology and, consequently, it's use in serving the customer.

Obviously, The New York Times is in business to serve the Sulzberger Family -- that's no secret. 

The micro-computer was first introduced in the late '70s. IBM came along and introduced the "Personal Computer" which Bill Gates converted into the "Microsoft Computer" -- and the news business reported the news and forgot their "watch-dog responsibility".

The introduction of the Internet was NOT about distribution of content, contrary to popular opinion -- it was and is all about two-way communication. It is just that simple -- NYT must understand the technology and adjust accordingly.

Now,if you sit back and consider what I have written, you will be able to connect the dots by yourself. For example, A true "Personal Computer" must be a secure computer -- no unauthorized access for anyone including the Federal Government. Obviously, there must be some control over allowable publication -- just as there has to be some control over speed limits on the highway.

The Internet is no different than any other transportation system. The owners must have some control over their property, within some kind of government control -- and, the Internet is NOT "open" and never was!!!

Well, that is about enough for now -- I do hope that you will think about some of my points.

To be continued (I hope) 

Doug Skoglund skoglund@pdmsb.com

I don't provide for comments since that is a system designed to control the communication process -- I do provide an e-mail address!! (Please put a [MYWAY] in your title to get my attention)

This page posted at http://ifihadmyway.com/2014013.htm

2014 Archive List

2013 Archive List

2012 Archive List