Self-Immolation?

Rupert Murdoch | The Daily | Photo courtesy of SeerpressRupert Murdoch’s tablet newspaper, The Daily, laid-off nearly a third of its staff in August. According to Erik Sass in Online Media Daily, the cuts fell heavily on editorial staffers – another case of trying to make money by offering an inferior product, a strategy decried by Sharon Silke Carty during a recent appearance on a panel before journalism students. Ironically, as noted in Lane Changes, Carty departed The Huffington Post when it dropped its in-house auto coverage.

The self-immolating phenomenon of declining circulation followed by a lesser product is not confined to newspapers.

David Carr reports in the New York Times that magazine newsstand circulation was down 10 per cent for the first half of the year and advertising almost as much. . . Immediate Digest quotes documentary maker Adam Curtis, “[HBO series] Game of Thrones takes a fantasy world, makes it real and turns it into a struggle for power. The journalism of the future is going to have to be incredibly high blown, almost romantic and it will need to turn what looks dull and impenetrable and turn it into Game of Thrones.” For example . . . Joel Ewanick’s departure from General Motors was the stuff of high drama caught by the columns of Marketing Daily’s Karl Greenberg and Auto Extremist Peter De Lorenzo. Both recognized it was not a conflict of ideas or misdeeds, nor “a ghost in the machine” but the “ego in the drive train” insisting on a total preeminence never earned and, perhaps, therefore more desperately needed.