More from the Google Tent…

Over at, freelance writer Simon Owens explores the implications the Big Tent (or the Google Tent as I’m fond of calling it) will have on the Democratic National Convention, how much more access bloggers will have this year, and whether the whole thing constitutes a consolation prize for progressives.

One quote caught me by surprise:

Despite the enthusiasm of many of the Big Tent participants I spoke to, there has been a fair amount of skepticism as well. In the comments section of an Alternet article about the tent, one person wrote that “any learned, critical thinking, reasoned human being would realize that this is a charade to sugar up and pacify the progressive community.”

Is it really ‘progressive’ thing?

If you follow the link and read the comment, posted by user blueapples26, this person hammers both Google and Digg for exhibiting decidedly undemocratic behavior. Now, I don’t disagree that both companies are less democratic than one might think, but I’m not sure the event is an attempt to placate progressives. Aren’t they setting up a similar tent at the Republican National Convention?

No-news conventions, the disappearing newsroom and AP the dinosaur

Google sponsors Blogger Tent at Democratic and Republic National Conventions

For $100 you can have access to an exclusive tent for bloggers at the Democratic and Republican national conventions – complete with Googleplex-style goodies and granola. For all the hoopla about Google as a media company, how new media alters the journalistic landscape, etc., I kept wondering the same question: what news comes out of a convention anyway? After the running mate is announced, it’s a lot of rah-rah and pats on the back, right? (The above link to the WSJ article buries this point at the bottom.)

Emmis cuts 4.6 percent of workforce

I love print. Always have. It’s how I learned how to read. But I have to ask. Is this a healthy “leaning” of artificially large newsroom staffs? Before I draw harsh criticism from print-age journos, I’m speaking purely of the business model. Will newspapers hit an equilibrium where they narrow in scope and turn a profit? Furthermore, from Gannett…

Gannett blogger laments thinning newsroom staffs

Former Gannett editor Jim Hopkins provides a former where anonymous Gannett employees, past and present, can keep up to date on the latest dismal news from the colossal newspaper chain.

Tribune layoffs hit minorities disproportionately harder

According to a report by Richard Prince at his Journal-isms blog, the most recent round of cutoffs at the Chicago Tribune, Tribune Co.’s flagship brand, were disproportionately minority reporters. Ray Quintanilla told Prince that of the more than 80 people let go, after you factor in 30 voluntary exit, the list is heavily minority, and “looks bad.” To play my own devil’s advocate, this, if true, is anything but healthy for journalism.

And finally, a bit of good news…Idaho Falls drops AP contract in 2010

This I applaud for its boldness. Publisher of the Idaho Falls Post Register Roger Plothow stated in a letter:

I’ll put my cards on the table — I’m not sure how we’re going to pull this off. While the AP’s value to us has been severely diminished over the years, it still does provide a handful of services that we haven’t been able to find elsewhere — yet. I’m betting, however, that it’s only a matter of time. More likely, we’ll use that time to become essentially 100 percent local, which is probably where we’re headed eventually anyway.

Bravo. That’ll be one to keep tabs on.