Purple Prose

A few weeks ago the new owners of the Star Tribune threatened to send the jobs of thirty-two of their advertising production employees to India, unless the employees agreed to find “expense reductions” of half a million dollars—or about $15,600 per employee. This business came hot on the heels of the Strib’s announcement that Pioneer […]

Go Down Moses

A recent intercepted email exchange between Monica Moses, executive director of product innovation at the Star Tribune, and Steve Perry, editor of City Pages, provided both a good laugh and good fodder for online discussion of “What the hell are newspapers and why are they seemingly dying?”  The exchange (posted on The Rake’s media blog) […]

News Junkie

**Note: See the July 20th NYTimes Magazine cover excerpt from Carr’s forthcoming book, The Night of the Gun. Carr discusses the book August 14th at Magers and Quinn Booksellers and August 18th at Common Good Books.** David Carr is slouched against the sweaty door of a cab whose shock absorbers long ago lost the battle […]

A Man of His Times

There is a consensus in the trade, I am sorry to report, that Thomas L. Friedman cannot win another Pulitzer Prize. This is not due to any dissipation of his talents. It is because, having already won three of journalism’s highest awards, he has been asked to join the Pulitzer board. Instead of receiving Pulitzers, […]

Chasing Life

Dan Buettner is best known as a writer and extreme adventurer who rode his bike around the world from east to west and from north to south through the Americas and Africa and Europe and Asia. He has crossed the roadless Sahara desert, numerous jungles, and active war zones. He has contracted dozens of diseases […]

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Newspapers in Turmoil!

If you’re a shareholder, the money is still pretty good, but in almost every other way this is a rough time for the middlebrow, mainstream media. Judging by all the hand-wringing, navel-gazing, and gloomy, self-flagellating punditry you’d think the mainstream news media–the “MSM,” as bloggers love to peck—are at the fiery brink as a consequence […]

The Sixties—Dead By Self-Inflicted Gunshot

The moment flickered past while I realized that the last of them was gone, the last of the sixties counterculture iconoclasts, those world shakers and rainbow revolutionaries: Lenny Bruce, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, John Lennon, Abbie Hoffman, Edward Abbey, Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, Hunter Thompson—all gone, the last by his own hand. I […]

Scooper & Scooped: Poached Edition

We were surprised to open up Monday’s Minneapolis Star-Tribune to see Jon Tevlin’s article on religion in the workplace. Surprised, because it was very similar to a feature story that was on the cover of The New York Times Magazine about a month ago. We’d noticed Russell Shorto’s feature, not only because it was a […]

Gagging on the Patriot Act

If the title of patron saint of journalists were not already held by the seventeenth-century French priest Francis de Sales, many American reporters would be ready to canonize Professor Jane E. Kirtley of the University of Minnesota for her steadfast support and defense of their work. Through a serendipitous career as a reporter, attorney, advocate, […]

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Loose Lips Float Ships!

The military has gotten very good at using the media for its own purposes. I should know—I taught them how to do it. As a public affairs officer in the Marine Corps, I taught military-media relations to commanders and staff officers. In other words, it was my job to teach Marines how to work with […]

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