Livin la vida meta

As soon as I catch my breath, I’ll have more to say about the We Media conference, but I found this to be a through-the-looking-glass moment that illustrates how ridiculously interconnected we’re all becoming:

So I’m sitting in the conference next to AP reporter Seth Sutel watching over his shoulder as he writes a piece on the proceedings. After he’s done, I turn my attention elsewhere.

Less than an hour later my Blackberry buzzes with the following email from Kevin:

From: Kevin McCrea 
Sent: Wednesday, October 05,
2005 1:18 PM
To: ‘Mike Orren’
Drudge is linking this article about your media
President, Community Affairs
Pegasus News, Inc.

And there’s Seth’s article.

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Live where you live

NEW YORK — On my flight up to the We Media conference, I picked up a copy of the New Yorker and found a (criminally unavailable online) Ken Auletta piece about the strains of Tribune ownership on the LA Times.

I was struck by how pat the whole picture painted seems — corporate bosses under Wall Street pressure slashing costs as revenues decline; journos sneering at local coverage while insisting that expensive international investigations and awards are all that matters; newsrooms and boardrooms so hopelessly out of synch that they’re not even speaking the same language…

It’s the type of stuff I wrote about in a "manifesto" just over a year ago. A manifesto that has been painstakingly shaped into a plan. A plan that we’re now starting to execute.

As a newspaperman, I found it depressing. As an entrepreneur, I found it reassuring.

Some key quotes:

The people who decide the fate of Los Angeles’s newspaper now live in Chicago.

Dean Baquet:

It’s an experience that reporters don’t have much anymore, where you cover the town you live in and see the impact of your stories.

Baquet again:

We haven’t mastered making the paper feel like it is edited in Los Angeles.

John Carroll:

If we decide that we’re not going to cover the world ourselves, we’ll become a second-tier paper.

This particular quote is symbolic of the problem that major market editors need to face up to: If you’re the LA Times, your primary responsibility is to cover LA. If there are resources to do more than that, then more power to you. If not, then the seven part Pulitzer-winning series on Asian labor practices will just have to be won by somebody else.

PaperOr, as it was put more elegantly, in one of my favorite newspaper movies:

Paul Bladden, New York Sentinel:
Well, I hope you’re satisfied, @$#! You just blew your chance to cover the world!

Really. Well guess
f@%#$&* what? I don’t really f@%#$&* care. You wanna
f@%#$&* why? Because I don’t f@%#$&* live in the f@%#$&* world! I
live in
f@%#$&* New York City!

Expiration date

Just a heads-up that the too-good-to be true lifetime subscription offer is officially closed. Fear not– we’ll have a more permanent subscription page up within the week. (And it’ll still be a great deal!)

We really appreciate all of y’all who stepped up and bought a subscription on faith. It helps validate that there’s demand for something like Pegasus News, and it’s a helluva pickme up on a tough day to look in the email and see a bunch of you saying, "Bring it on."

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