By Mick Gregory
Aspen – William Dean Singleton and other industry leaders attending the Aspen Institute’s annual Forum on Communications and Society. This is elite society’s tony little August getaway in the boutique ski town of Aspen.
The Aspen Institute Forum on Communications and Society (FOCAS) is a dialogue to explore the societal impact of the digital revolution and to develop strategies for how the new communications and information technologies can be employed for the greater benefit of everyone in society. FOCAS seeks to do this, first by taking a critical look at how advances in these fields will impact traditional democratic values and institutions, and then by asking what policies the private and public sectors should pursue, individually and collectively, to foster a better and more democratic society. –Aspen Institue
Dick Morris in his current best seller “Outrage,” goes in to depth on the liberal, socialist Aspen Institue’s agenda. They let millionaires influence politicians with all-expense-paid vacations to exotic spots to learn more about how to create a perfect democratic society.
The Democrat Congressman’s Best Friend: The Aspen Institute — the Gift That Keeps on Giving.
By far, the biggest spender on congressional trips is the Aspen Institute.
Who was the top congressional traveler funded by the Aspen Institute? Goerge Miller Democrat from Northern California who attended 26 vacation/conferences along with his wife from 2000-2006, visiting places like the Grand Caymans, Florence, Italy, Helsinki, Finland, China, Rome, Moscow, Cancun, Venice Italy, Dublin, Ireland, Honolulu, Barcelona, Spain to name just a few. Nice life. Henry Waxman, Democrat from California was also a regular Aspen traveler in the Top 10 as well and Democrat Maurice Hinchey, Democrat from New York and Barbara Boxer, Democrat from Northern California.
BTW- Hinchey is one of the Congressmen is trying to get Michael Savage off the air.
Back to the conference.
“It’s not a dying business; it’s a changing business,” said William Dean Singleton, who was part of a “distinguished” panel that discussed the future of newspapers.
Singleton has a well-deserved reputation for buying failing newspapers for pennies on the dollar, gutting them, and keeping a healthy profit margin.
This year’s junket has explored how new technologies and consumer behaviors are changing the way old media like newspapers and new media like blogs are serving customers, communities and the broader social good.
Questions have been raised about how major newspapers, which are experiencing a decline in revenues from advertising, and their journalists – once deemed watchdogs of government – are working in the face of the onslaught of Web-based competition, including citizen journalists.
Arthur Sulzberger (pronounced Sulzberjay) Jr., publisher of The New York Times, said technology has allowed the paper to become “ubiquitous,” with people getting news from The Times in print, on the Web and on cellphones.
“We are where you want to find us. We don’t define ourselves as print,” he said. “We’re getting out of the mind-set that we snap a picture of the world (at a certain time) and present it to you (the next day).”
Engaging readers through Web- based tools, such as message boards and citizen journalism – allowing users to post stories and photos online – is key for building a reputable and profitable Web presence, said Caroline Little, CEO and publisher of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive.
Pinch (his nickname) has a point. The New York Times was just honored with No. 1 spot in the Top 10 of newspaper Web sites.
“One of the things about publishing on the Internet is that speed is everything. (You’re) getting information out in smaller chunks that people can consume quickly,” he said.
Singleton, who also is the chairman and publisher of The Denver Post, said that while advertising dollars may be falling away from large metropolitan dailies, newspapers with circulations between 20,000 and 250,000 are thriving. He pointed to the Denver Newspaper Agency’s YourHub publications as a successful model of hyperlocal journalism, both in the weekly print product and on the Web.
“It gives you a lot of interesting content that our staff wouldn’t be able to get to,” he said. “Online, you have an unlimited amount of space; you can get down Boy Scout awards. In a paper like (The Denver Post), we could never run Boy Scout awards.”
Singleton said he didn’t blame Craig Newmark, a fellow panelist and founder of Craigslist.com – a site that allows most people to write and post classified and personal ads for free – taking hundreds of millions of dollars of advertising revenue from newspaper classifieds.
“It isn’t Craig’s doing, but innovation at its best. It’s nobody’s fault; it just happened,” he said. “It’s hard to compete with free.”
POP QUIZ: Who is more wealthy, Nancy Pelosi or Tom DeLay?
The Facts: Nancy Pelosi has a net worth of $55 million dollars. Tom DeLay has zero net worth, in fact he has nearly $1 million in legal defence bills to fight Democrat legal actions in Austin Texas.