Monday, September 25, 2006

The Portland Freelancer In Time Magazine?

Okay, it's not a mention of this blog, but if I'm the Portland Freelancer, and I sold a certain joke to a certain late-night talk show host, and that joke is in today's issue of Time Magazine, then the Portland Freelancer is in Time Magazine. At least I bought a copy for my "archives." For more on the actual joke see the post with the Saddam graphic below.

Ahh, Time Magazine. It's a proud moment knowing I'm in dentist waiting rooms all over America this morning. Isn't that the only place you still read these magazines? Of course, there's a lot of prestige to Time but everything is online for me now, except for buying the print version of the Oregonian. (Peter Bhatia - no charge for the plug.)

In fact, I was in a coffee shop reading a free print version of the New York Times this weekend when I found myself thinking, "That's a good story. I think I'll read that one when I get back to the computer." So the printed version was operating as a menu for later. You tell me things haven't changed. I mean newspapers are so dark looking and you can't even adjust the print size if your eyes are getting older. In fact this Time Magazine issue that I bought for nearly 4 bucks has an instruction at the bottom of the Punchline Page to help you get to more political humor on the Time website. See? Print as a menu. It's sort of sad really. Newspapers and magazines are struggling to figure out how to get a new income stream. I pay for the New York Times online, but everything else is free. It's quicker than the old news cycle. In fact, you can get the New York Times columns online sooner than you can get them delivered to your door in New York. That's significant.

Take the local media. The Portland Tribune had the brilliant foresight to pluck an unknown writer from the masses, and give him a column. Then later when that writer wrote two amazing columns prior to the War in Iraq, basically warning about what was going to happen, the Portland Tribune had the unbelievable lack of smarts to fire said writer. Now I sit back and listen to Frank Rich and others bemoan how horribly the media did prior to the war. He even said it was like they were all on drugs. Meanwhile, the Portland Tribune can hold its head up high knowing that unlike the New York Times and virtually every other newspaper in America, it was not duped. Or more precisely - I was not duped. It's the same skills that landed my Iraq joke in Time Magazine this morning.

As newspapers flounder and play it safe, the real action in journalism is on the computer. I mention Peter Bhatia because he was the one at the Oregonian who I used to apply to for a job. He was always gracious about it, and showed a lot of class. Here's some free advice, Peter: Newspapers are going to have to get more lively if they're going to survive. They need to get a little less staid and boring. The best thing the Oregonian could do right now is hire me. Of course, I may be too big after this morning. That's it - I've been selling myself short! I've been trying to get a job in local media and I should have been applying to Time Magazine!.......... Okay relax, the Portland Freelancer doesn't mean it. The Portland Freelancer is only kidding.


At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can relate to seeing something in a print version of the NYT and choosing to read it online later. Besides being more convenient, the online version doesn't leave dark smudges on my hands. :)


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