Commentary From the Mile High City

"Star of the conservative blogosphere" Denver Post

"The Rocky Mountain Alliance offers the best of what the blogosphere has to offer." -David Harsanyi, Denver Post
Joshua Sharf

 notify list
to receive email when this site is updated, enter your email address:
 recent posts
24 (2 entries)
Anglosphere (1 entries)
Biking (1 entries)
Blogging (35 entries)
Business (173 entries)
CFA (3 entries)
China (5 entries)
Climate Change (3 entries)
Colorado (20 entries)
Denver (12 entries)
Design (4 entries)
Economics (39 entries)
Education (6 entries)
Electoral College (1 entries)
Environmentalism (3 entries)
Europe (0 entries)
Flying (2 entries)
Foreign Affairs (1 entries)
General (89 entries)
Gun Control (2 entries)
Health Care (7 entries)
Higher Ed (7 entries)
History (8 entries)
Home Improvement (1 entries)
Illegal Immigration (35 entries)
Internet (4 entries)
Israel (57 entries)
Jewish (49 entries)
Judicial Nominations (12 entries)
Katrina (0 entries)
Literature (1 entries)
Media (37 entries)
Music (3 entries)
Photoblogging (32 entries)
Politics (152 entries)
Porkbusters (5 entries)
Radio (16 entries)
Religion (1 entries)
Reviews (8 entries)
Robed Masters (4 entries)
Science (1 entries)
Sports (9 entries)
Taxes (2 entries)
Transportation (6 entries)
Unions (1 entries)
War on Terror (180 entries)
my other blogs
Three-Letter Monte

Rocky Mtn. Alliance
Best Destiny
Daily Blogster
Geezerville USA
Mount Virtus
Night Twister
Rocky Mountain Right
Slapstick Politics
The New Conservative
Thinking Right
View from a Height

other blogs
One Big Swede
American Thinker
Meryl Yourish
NRO Corner
Little Green Footballs
No Left Turns
A Constrained Vision

business blogs
Accidental Verbosity
Assymetrical Information
Carnival of the Capitalists
Cold Springs Shops
Commodity Trader
Coyote Blog
Different River
Everyone's Illusion
Fast Company Blog
Financial Rounds
Freakonomics Blog
Management Craft
Trader Mike
Carnival of the Capitalists Submission

business data
Inst. Supply Mgmt.
St. Louis Fed Economic Data
Nat'l Bureau of Economic Research
Economic Calendar
Stock Charts

colorado blogs
Pirate Ballerina
Pagan Capitalist
Boker Tov, Boulder
Colorado Pols
Jeff Sherman

<-?Colorado BlogRing#->

sites, not blogs
Thinking Rock Press
 help israel
Israel Travel Ministry
Friends of the IDF
Volunteers for Israel
Magen David Adom
 1939 World's Fair
1939: The Lost World of the Fair
The New York World's Fair: 1939-1940
The Last Great Fair by Jeffrey Hart
Iconography of Hope (U.Va.)
Images From the '39 Fair
Tour the 1939 New York Fair
Powered by
Movable Type 3.2

« Blog Talk Radio | Main | Saving Your Local Newspaper - II »

Saving Your Local Newspaper

Every time I talk to someone from the Rocky, indeed, every time I talk to someone from any newspaper who likes the Rocky, I float the idea of ditching the paper version, stripping out all the extraneous coverage, and going back to charging for their content.

The response would make crickets chirping sound like an oncoming tornado.

Maybe now that Walter Isaacson has proposed the same idea, it'll get another look. He lays out the case against an advertising-only model, while still preserving and charging for what local newspapers do best.

One of the most creative arguments against came from a reporter for the Grand Junction Sentinel, who argued that newspapers couldn't compete against local television. Two answers: 1) they did for 50 years, and 2) local TV can't compete with newspapers for actual content.

Look, I'd never pay for access to the news departments at Channels 4, 7, 9, and 31. I don't watch now for free, and I'm not sure how much they'd have to pay me to watch. But I'd pay, oh, $50 a year for the online Rocky, as long as I didn't get sued for quoting from its work.

In fact, such a product would be better than the printed paper. It could preserve the current forms and lengths, since those are what people are used to reading, and perhaps even what they have time for. But it could also allow for longer-format writing, which indulges what writers really like to do: write. So Lynn Bartels produces a 700-word piece on the legislature, and then a longer-form, 2000-word discussion of a particular bill that's caught her eye. Meanwhile, the Post, stuck with a paper edition, can only choke out 500 words that barely lets people know there is a story.

I think Isaacson (along with Littwin) too easily dismisses liberal bias as a source of decline. Yes, the papers have many hits online, but still look elsewhere for coverage of stories, and many of those people reading the Denver Post online then go to other sites for the analysis.

But liberal bias may be killing the papers in another way - a lack of entrepreneurial spirit which would save the industry, even in this economy. Reporters simply aren't interested in taking that kind of a chance, which requires a completely different way of thinking , risk-taking, and actual competition. Instead, they create sites like, "I Want My Rocky," that make people feel better and do absolutely nothing to preserve the paper or the brand. That's why they're reporters and not businessmen.

And that's also why their newspaper is about to disappear.


You're right about one thing -- I don't have an entrepreneurial bone in my body. Would never know how to be a businessman. Would never want to be one. And most reporters, I'd guess, are not much different. But you're missing on a few others. Your proposal re the Rocky is not the same as Isaacson's since you propose charging for the Rocky online while the competing Post online product would be free. Could never work. As for risk-taking, I'd guess you've never been a reporter covering a war, a wildfire, a riot wherein you put your life at risk to get the story, or one whose story challenges the most powerful people in the community or one whose opinions can be challenged, often rudely, by hundreds of thousands of readers. And as for actual knockdown competition, it's the lifeblood of every reporter.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Power, Faith, and Fantasy

Six Days of War

An Army of Davids

Learning to Read Midrash

Size Matters

Deals From Hell

A War Like No Other


A Civil War

Supreme Command

The (Mis)Behavior of Markets

The Wisdom of Crowds

Inventing Money

When Genius Failed

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Back in Action : An American Soldier's Story of Courage, Faith and Fortitude

How Would You Move Mt. Fuji?

Good to Great

Built to Last

Financial Fine Print

The Day the Universe Changed


The Multiple Identities of the Middle-East

The Case for Democracy

A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam

The Italians

Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory

Beyond the Verse: Talmudic Readings and Lectures

Reading Levinas/Reading Talmud