Michael Moore On Newspaper Industry and Why He’s Wrong (Video)

It will soon be difficult for American film makers to shoot the oh so cliché shot of the hermit like individual who’s been collecting newspaper clippings for years and stapling them to his wall. And the reason for this tragedy? Michael Moore say’s its capitalism.

I find it hard to subscribe to Moore’s idea that Capitalism is to blame for the downfall of the newspaper industry. Technology poses a much larger threat to newspapers and conventional broadcast media.

According to CIA’s World Factbook, the United States has approximately 307 million citizens. As of 2008 we have 223 million internet users, that means 74% of people in the country are connected to the internet. A decade ago 83 million Americans were using the internet, that is only 40% of the country. That is a jump of 34% in 10 years. We have 2,218 television broadcast stations, 4,789 AM radio stations and 8,961 FM radio stations. Those three industries, as we know them today, are all in danger because of the internet and new technology, and the newspaper industry is competing with all four mediums combined.

Let us look at blogging. On WordPress.com, the blog software that I use to host this blog, there was about 4.5 million posts in August. 426,047 blogs were created. They have 2,153,498 active blogs and 22,855,350 active posts. They had 1,267,201,336 page views and 1,296,959,079 page views on self hosted sites. And the best one, 787 terabytes of content was transferred from their datacenters. And all of that happened over a period of 30 days. That is a staggering amount of information. Granted, some of these blogs were probably not news blogs, but at least information was flowing.

I think the idea that information belongs in the hands of a few elites is not viable in the age of new media. Look at what the internet is doing to hold politicians and commentators accountable. No longer can a politician run their mouth off without the fear that their rant will end up on Youtube. That is a good thing.

The free market is not nostalgic. The free market does not sit back and long for the good old days when a man would get up in the morning, have his coffee and read the morning paper. If there is no demand for a product then why should we keep producing that product? We shouldn’t.

People need to stop worrying about what is going to happen to print. Print itself might be going away. But words, sentences and paragraphs are not, just look at the blogging numbers I posted earlier. Some people are afraid of letting everyone have a say because they can say whatever they want, but that is the beauty of it. As readers, we have the choice to read what we want to read, and excoriate what we want to excoriate. Credible sources will have clout, and those who cannot be trusted will become marginalized. Just as they are now, the best example of this is tabloid and your standard newspaper.

Lets break this down. What exactly are you selling when you sell a newspaper? You are selling news and words. The buyer wants to get the news and the advertiser wants to tell the buyer why they should buy their product. The newspaper is not the product, its just paper, the product is the information. If there is an easier, cheaper and more user friendly way to distribute and receive that information don’t you think the industry and the consumer are going to move towards that method, as opposed to the old one.

Just look at what the internet is doing to the post office. According to an ABC.com article, the post office is reviewing 10% of its offices. They say it might loose $7 billion in 2009. The times they are a-changing and so are peoples habits. With online bill pay and e-mail, the post office is not really needed as much. If you want to contact your friend you can just logon to Facebook and talk to them. I can honestly say that since I’ve lived on my own I’ve only mailed one letter. All of my utility and rent payments were done online through my bank.

Now lets tackle the questionable numbers that he puts forth regarding literacy. He say’s 40 million people are functionally illiterate, meaning they can’t read instructions on the back of a pill bottle. If that’s true, education in America is horrible. Only sentences thereafter, he say’s that we need to give more money to the Department of Education. And here’s where we have to ask ourselves the most obvious question, why?  So we can send more money to the federal government, so it can get lost in the bureaucratic mess that is Washington.

One of the main things that we need to do is eliminate redundancies in government, and having State Departments of Education and one big Federal Department of Education just doesn’t make sense and does not accomplish that goal. If Moore has done anything by pointing out this statistic, its that the Department of Education has not done its job. If this 40 million number is correct, which I doubt it is, how can you say that all we need to do is throw more money at the federal government? Its because if Moore had his way the federal government would be in charge of a whole lot more than just education.

Giving the federal government more of the taxpayers money is not doing anything but feed the beast, that necessary evil that we call government. That is my main problem with Moore’s vision of America. He sees other countries with their large, centralized governments and just longs to live under that type of system, yet he stay’s here. But my friend said it best, Michael Moore is in fact the biggest capitalist of them all. He creates movies that appeal to his side of the isle and then urinates all over the system that allowed him to prosper off such a film.


4 Responses to “Michael Moore On Newspaper Industry and Why He’s Wrong (Video)”

  1. Great post! It is well thought out and articulate not to mention-true. Keep it up, we need more intelligent people getting the truth out there. God bless you and I hope you will stop by my blog as well.

  2. Okay, I thought my highlighted name would take you my blog. It does not so here is the address. http://www.blacknright.wordpress.com

  3. […] Here we go again. If you missed my post last week as to why the newspaper industry is failing please read it, I don’t want to say […]

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