I like Nicolas Cage; I like enigmatic movies. This has/is both.
I still didn’t like it; didn’t quite get it.
It was fine to watch; had some funny moments, but I will never watch this movie again.
I guess I was expecting something different – the trailers show Cage roaming the city with a bow and arrow. And in this movie, he is very much a man on the edge – I kept waiting for him to go postal and start firing those arrows. Never happened.
Shot (exteriors) in the Chicago area, where I’m from, so that’s fun, but – overall – unimpressive.
We all know the line about how the internet is gutting newspapers’ profitablity/relevance. And, to a large degree, this is true.
But there is one other compelling reason that today’s newspapers are not so compelling: Business.
Newspapers are increasingly profit-driven, especially as consolidation takes away the hometown-news focus and moves that focus to the corporation’s bottom line.
This was driven home in a very really way in an article by Knight Ridder’s Mike Cassidy:
So, Monday morning I left my office on Ridder Park Drive and drove to the Fairmont hotel next to the Knight Ridder building in San Jose. There, chief executive Tony Ridder announced that Knight Ridder newspapers was dead.
Listening to Ridder and the video, it seemed all the more tragic that Knight Ridder’s 32-year run is over. There were the 85 Pulitzer Prizes. The tradition of philanthropy. The history of hiring diversity.
It left me wondering why. Almost like a child, I kept thinking this didn’t really have to happen. This company didn’t have to go away.
To which, in his speech, Ridder answered that the end was inevitable.
Shareholders — big institutional investors — wanted more for their investment. Top-flight journalism wasn’t their concern.
If they hadn’t prevailed this time, they would have eventually.
— Cassidy: Sad requiem for esteemed KR standards, Mike Cassidy, Mercury News, June 27, 2006
Agree or not whether or not big institutional investors should care about solid journalism (or solid [whatever your investment is in]), the general truth is the one Ridder stated.
So, not only are newspapers under siege from the internet and 24-hour TV news, but the corporate chiefs are turning a blind eye to the quality of the product. Yes, that’s a way to just about guarantee your product will continue to deteriorate.
This is understandable, but still sad. There’s a reason the press – most notably the print press – is regarded as the Fourth Estate. We have the three branches of government – legislative, executive and judicial – with an elaborate (sometimes arcane…) set of checks and balances. But it’s often up to the outsiders, this Fourth Estate, to make a fuss when those check and balances are not exercised (or exercised improperly and so on).
To a large degree, the online community is doing an excellent job of examining the checks and balances, but you often need a depth of reporting (full staff) and an institution behind you to break the big stories.
If Dana Priest had just been a blogger, do you really think she – the same person as the Washington Post reporter – would have been able to crack the CIA secret prisons story, for which she won a Pulitzer?
So there is a need for newspapers, even if they end up online only. The New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post – they’re all doing some excellent work, and it would seem a true loss to have them replaced by a bunch of independent blogs.
So remember, it’s not just the internet killing newspapers – it’s also short-sighted, bottom-line focused business decisions that have nothing to do with content that’s crippling the print media.