Skip to main content

I think that if more mainstream papers actually try to report on stories that actually connect to people of color, the poor, the working class, those who work in less glamorous jobs, etc., then maybe those papers would actually get people to care enough to purchase an actual newspaper instead of reading it for free on the Internet.

Case in point: I saw this story published on the front page of The Washington Post this morning.

Don't get me wrong, I think what happened to that young woman was horrifying. But The Post goes out of its way to try to paint a sympathetic portrait of the alleged perpetrator of the murder by talking about her upper class background growing up in an average upper middle class American family.

On top of that, the murder happened in an upscale store (Luluemon) that's located in an upscale shopping district (Bethesda) and The Post's story is clearly implying such things as "How can such a horrible murder happen in Bethesda of all places?"

Believe me, if that murder had happened in a Target in Columbia Heights and the alleged murdered had been African-American or Latino, you'd be lucky if you'd see even a paragraph about the murder buried in the back section of The Washington Post's Metro section.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  You have identified the problem (2+ / 0-)
    Believe me, if that murder had happened in a Target in Columbia Heights and the alleged murdered had been African-American or Latino, you'd be lucky if you'd see even a paragraph about the murder buried in the back section of The Washington Post's Metro section.

    But, their target audience is those middle- to upper-class folks in the nice suburbs.

    Because that's where the money is.

    And they'll continue to lose readership and money.

    "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

    by MikeTheLiberal on Mon Apr 18, 2011 at 01:57:21 PM PDT

    •  selling the audience (0+ / 0-)

      The Washington Post is selling its readership to the advertisers. Of course its going to aim its coverage like a pandering heat-seeking missile at a relatively affluent demographic.

      I wonder which is going to come first, the Post acknowledges the digital divide and realizes that the disconnected poor are the only people left that can be sold news in print form or else the paper sheds nearly its entire readership and becomes a pricey political newsletter circulated exclusively to the wealthy and powerful.

  •  The upper-class (0+ / 0-)

    bias is hardly new.  In fact, it was much worse in the early, pre-Penny Press days.  It perhaps subsided a bit during the turn-of-the-20th-Century era of yellow journalism (augmented by the flourishing of newspapers by and for recent immigrants in the big cities), but resurged in the subsequent backlash and only got more pronounced as the century went on.  Compare the dry, haughty, all-White New York Times from the 50s and 60s to today, and you'll say "wow, they've come a long way toward covering a broader segment of the community!"  

    So it doesn't really work as an explanation for the recent precipitous decline in readership.  As for the explanations that do work, I'd recommend this recent book.

    Really? A trendy expression of befuddled incredulity? Really?

    by cardinal on Mon Apr 18, 2011 at 02:11:46 PM PDT

  •  Interesting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Some Kid In High School

    how media has changed. The Lizzy Borden incident was the talk of the town.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace- Hendrix

    by Maori on Mon Apr 18, 2011 at 02:50:17 PM PDT

  •  Two things: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eyesoars, Jim J

    1. Papers is the subject of your title, and it is plural, so your verb needs to be plural too. (Why Mainstream Papers...ARE Losing Readers)

    2. I refuse to pay for a subscription to my local paper for two reasons. One, the papers kept "getting lost" on their way to me when I had one. Two, it went for McLame in 2008. I'm not giving money to conservative activists.

    "This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it." -- Keith Olbermann

    by allergywoman on Mon Apr 18, 2011 at 02:59:37 PM PDT

  •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

    I think that the biggest problem for newspapers is the internet competition for classified ads and sports information.  The quality of the front page matters a lot less than some people think.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site