To sell papers, make a splash, says head for my letter to ed, Sun-Times

Ouch. Not exactly, with all respect to the busy headline writer.

The letter, after scrolling down:

I much appreciated Georgie Anne Geyer’s defense of the media in Sunday’s Sun-Times. Typically for her, it was a clear and concise statement of that defense.

I was surprised to see her close the column urging people to “start reading, and paying for and appreciating, real news as reported by newspapers — or just lean back and be had.”

This sounded too much as if the market ought to wise up and do the right thing before it’s too late. It’s like General Motors telling car buyers to wake up and smell the coffee and buy their cars.

Newspapers can do nothing about trends that treat them harshly or competition like cable news. All they can do is come up with a product that sells.

Jim Bowman, Andersonville

That is to say, generally speaking, the producer can bemoan the market, as people can bemoan the weather. But doing something about it? Nope. Look to the product, therefore, not the ingrates who don’t appreciate it.

As for making a splash, it’s what daily papers have been doing anyhow, for a long, long time. It’s been their bread and butter. My quarrel with the head is that it made explicit what I left unsaid.

And you know what? It’s the letter that’s to blame, and it’s my fault.

I think.

via Keep bicycles off Chicago’s busiest streets: letters (after scrolling down)

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