Sunday, January 24, 2010

Linkism, End of Week Variety

A great Slate article—not counterintuitive but on an underexplored issue—how can we tell how good cornerbacks are?

Here’s an interesting blog post on the demise of newspapers (I realize this describes roughly 20,000 blog posts, but, uh…there you have it.) Why not show you a graf?

I once gave a talk to a group of business executives about coverage of 9/11. My assignment back then was to profile the hijackers. My editor’s instructions were to go wherever I needed to go and stay as long as I needed to stay. Neither of us imagined the reporting would take three years and require travel to twenty countries on four continents. But it did. In the middle of my talk one of the executives interrupted. “This is fascinating,” he said, “but I can’t help asking: How does it cost out?” It doesn’t, of course. There isn’t much a newspaper does that pays for itself. I suppose you could think about this sort of reporting as brand management, reminding your readers you’re a serious organization. But without the subsidy of the monopoly profits, there will be less and less of this kind of coverage, if any at all.

Michael Pettis discusses the numbers out of 4Q for China.

Wal-Mart is cutting 11,200 jobs. Very worrying, I think: Wal-Mart—like, say, the Dollar Store or fast food—is supposed to be doing well in this economy, and the economy is supposed to be in the doldrums at this point, rather than outright crisis. Worth monitoring.

From the new media front lines: e-books priced at $0 becoming best-“sellers.”

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