Sunday, March 02, 2008

We're Media, we can't make people do stuff. Unless you pay us...

Tam is channeling the founders' dream again:

They are not the legislative equivalent of grenades, where you pull the electoral pin, lob them towards Washington, and hope they go off the way you expected. They're your employees; you need to tell them what to do and keep an eye on them, or they'll be stealing the petty cash and spending their whole shift leaning on a broom handle and slacking off.

Read the NYT's own words on this very issue:

What we sell for a living is the ability to influence. The holy grail of getting high economic or social prices for media people is the ability to influence. Like the ability to run fast is for an Olympic sprinter. And we're way out in front.


The gold medal for influencing is the ability to influence "leaders". That's why the NYT carries adverts for things like jet airplanes, and Boeing doesn't advertise in the Chittlin' Switch Morning News. Just look at our studies!

Access to "Leaders" is the product of the NYT, and every other medium. That access is what the corporation sells to its customers. EVERY journalist's paycheck comes from that access.

"But not the reporters, they are motivated by the TRUTH, the desire to REPORT".

Yes. Would you rather report the news in a paper the President and the Chairman of GM and the procurement officers of the Department of Energy read, or to the readers of the CSMN?

( This fact is what always gets me about media and guns/crime/social deterioration..

Media ALWAYS scoff at their own inducing of unpleasant behaviour. Then the people in the advertising department of the exact same rag, network, or studio will boast and prove with exhaustive studies their ability to get people to do things like spend money or change brand loyalty.

" Mr. Toyota, our thirty second product advert will get people to spend millions with you as if by magic. We'll put it in the middle of the 15 minute story about the NIU killer's tragic life.

And that 15 minute story has ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT on encouraging future mass killers.

Yes, the content of "Friends" made millions of women demand "The Rachel", and we make millions of people huddle around American Idol, and have arguments about it all week. Talk to the Product Placement Department about how we can make that work for YOU.

But the magic influence automatically stops when the content is unpleasant. Really.

Just like we only tell them how to vote on the editorial page, and our news jugement, selection, and writing have nothing to do with that. ")

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