“And that’s the way it is…”
➔ Ironically, one subject that has been in the news over the past several years is the news itself. Amid allegations of fake news, mis-information, dis-information and outright lying, the very structure of the news business has been shaken to its core.
Much like many other facets of modern society, a major culprit in this tumultuous transformation of the news business is technology. More specifically, the internet has catapulted everyday Joes and Janes into news producers from their basements and worse.
A major effect of this inside-out revolution has been the demise of the newspapers. Starting in the pre-internet days of the 1980s daily newspapers have little by little been tossed onto the trash heap of history. Major cities that once sported two and three dailies (and more) have been reduced to one daily newspaper and many of those are mere shadows of their former selves. According to The Washington Post, “from 2005 to 2021, about 2,200 American local print newspapers closed. From 2008 to 2020, the number of American newspaper journalists fell by more than half.”
While the struggles of newspapers have become common place, broadcast news outlets have suffered as well. Once seen as the wave of the future, the 24-hour news channels are starving for content and are faced with a burgeoning competition from the most unlikely places. Now, anyone with a smartphone who happens to be in the right place at the right time can become a purveyor of news.
What does the future hold for news and news organizations? Will newspapers disappear forever, or will they re-invent themselves? Will there be major merges of local print and broadcast news outlets? Will small town and local newspapers survive as sole sources of local news? Will big-city newspapers disappear entirely? Who can say?
As with most everything else, no one knows for certain. Today’s news media is fragmented, and more and more beholden or driven by ideologues and activists. Recent polls show that young Americans (under 35) get most of their news from social media, eschewing the more traditional outlets.
One thing that’s for certain is that the public’s trust in the news media is at an all time low. A Gallup poll from a year ago notes that only one in three Americans trust in the mass media to report the news fully and fairly – only two points above the all-time low. That’s not good and that’s something that desperately needs to change for the better.
And tomorrow? What other technological breakthroughs will upend the news business even more in the future? Something needs to happen and happen soon.
“Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your honor. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse.”
– Samuel L. Clemens, aka Mark Twain
American writer, humorist, entrepreneur,
publisher & lecturer
Lincoln Electric, a manufacturer of arc welding equipment, hasn’t laid anybody off since the 1950s — or perhaps even earlier. The Cleveland-based company, which was founded in 1895 and went public in 1995, employs more than 4,700 people.
No Mouse, He
➔ The phrase “slipping a Mickey” likely originated with Mickey Finn, a Chicago saloon owner known for drugging and robbing his customers. In 1896 Finn owned a bar called “The Lone Star Saloon and Palm Garden.” Here he partook in a few less than stellar activities, one of which was selling stolen items.
Finn somehow obtained some white powder, which was believed to be chloral hydrate, and concocted two drinks with the stuff. One was mixed with beer, and the other was mixed with alcohol and other substances. When the patron got a taste of the drink, they would be knocked out. Finn’s associates then would take them to a back room while they were incapacitated and steal their possessions while they were dozing. The person would then be dropped in an alley without their belongings, unable to remember what happened when they awoke.
After paying off the Chicago police for a time, Finn’s bar was eventually shut down in 1903. He had sold the recipe for the concoction to other bar owners by then, and the term “Mickey Finn,” or “slipping a Mickey,” became synonymous with a drink that put someone out on the floor.
“I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.”
— W. C. Fields,
American actor, comedian,
juggler and writer
Some 49 percent of CEOs believe their jobs can at least partially be done by AI; just 20 percent of workers feel the same.
— HR Executive
In a pickle. The dull season in the tailoring trade is known as the "silly season," or “cucumber time,” or the “slow news” season like when people are on vacation and Congress is not in session.
Heil. Adolf Hitler said that nothing his father ever did pleased him more than when he changed his last name from Schicklgruber.
You are what you eat. A woman, who was addicted to eating her own hair, had a six-inch hairball surgically removed from her stomach.
Not lovin’ it. The worst time of the day to visit McDonald’s is during the turn over from breakfast to lunch.
— Mental Floss
Anything for money. Ring is offering $1 million to anyone who captures an alien on a doorbell camera.
Hi-ho. Hi-ho. A Chinese woman was charged with fraud when it was revealed that she was employed by 16 different companies, but never showed up for work at any of them.
— Oddity Central
Noodling around. The demand for instant noodles jumped to a record 121.2 billion servings last year.
— World Instant Noodles Association
Think pink! Since last year, a funeral home in El Salvador has been offering Barbie-themed coffins. They’re sold out.
— New York Post
Speed kills. A tortoise that “ran away” from a Pennsylvania veterinary clinic was found a week later – two miles away.
Mistaken on the Lake. There are 33 Clevelands in the world – 28 in the United States, three in England, one in Tasmania and one in Queensland.
The Month of October
Month of the Month
In preparation for Thanksgiving, October is Adopt A Turkey Month as well as Eat Better, Eat Together Month. And then there are those that we don’t try to explain or understand. Like, October is “I'm Just Me Because Month.”
Yesterday (October 15th) was our normal publication date. But we wanted nothing to do with it, it being Global Handwashing Day. Today (October 16), on the other hand, is Dictionary Day. Go look it up.
Question of the Month
What is the only jurisdiction in the U.S. that drives on the left side of the road (as is done in the U.K.)?
Your record will be inviolate if you get this right.
Quote of the Month
“Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too.”
French Enlightenment writer, philosopher, satirist & historian
Get a Headstart
If you have ever thought about including a newsletter in your marketing communications toolkit, before you begin, download our free digital booklet – Getting Started with Your Newsletter – to get some basic questions answered as well as a little inspiration to nudge you forward. Be sure to check out “Something Special” at the end. Download your copy.
A Gridiron MBA?
Maybe that’s not possible, but there is much you can learn about business from football in the book, Hard Hitting Lessons. The subtitle says it all, “Some not-so-obvious business lessons learned from playing football.”
Get your copy here!