Monday, January 05, 2015

I Can't Comment On What I Haven't Read

I haven't read the most talked about article in Iowa politico-journalism today. And I doubt a lot of other Iowans have read past the headline.

"Top Iowa Democrats Slow to Rally Around Hillary Clinton," says the Wall Street Journal, and pretty much my entire Twitter feed is tweeting and retweeting and commenting.

I'd offer my thoughts, but the only thoughts I'd offer would be my overarching opinion of the Hillary In Iowa question.  I haven't read the article itself, because it's paywalled.

I have seen a few paragraphs, via Marketwatch, but that, too is just a tease of the full piece. And I've seen one amusing yet spot on critique from Ed Kilgore, headlined "The Wing Ding Factor." (Iowa Dems get the reference).
Candidates in both parties for state and local office in Iowa (and to a lesser extent, in other early states) are accustomed to enjoying the benefit of world-class mailing lists, state-of-the-art campaign infrastructures, and top-shelf campaign staffers from all over the country. These goodies come to them courtesy of presidential candidates, proto-presidential candidates, people who want to work on presidential campaigns, and people who want to influence presidential campaigns. This is why Iowans so fiercely protect their first-in-the-nation-caucus status, and also why they hate uncontested presidential nomination contests. So of course they don’t want HRC to win without a challenge.

The “Wing Ding” factor is something you should keep in mind when reading about the fertile soul Iowa offers to anyone contemplating a challenge to HRC.
I'd chip in a quarter or a buck to read the whole Wall Street Journal thing and excerpt the parts I needed as fair use for a legit critique.  On RARE occasions I've paid for archival content that I really, really need.  (I'd do it more, ironically, if I were getting paid to write.  But I can't justify it for a hobby.)

WSJ doesn't give me that option.  I'm looking at a $12 for 12 week introductory offer for ONE publication that I would rarely read, in order to access ONE article of interest.

As a formerly employed journalist, I have profoundly mixed feelings about all this.

But that genie has already left the bottle.  The music industry learned it first, followed fast by journalism, and the movies are doomed soon.  Information industries are going to have to find a business model to fund the creation of content (i.e. paying musicians ad reporters) other than pay per copy or advertiser support. A way to make money without charging anything.

If I had the answer, I certainly wouldn't be blogging for free right this moment. I have a theory, at least for journalism, that ultimately political interests will pay for content creation, and the news consumer will have to approach media with foreknowledge and critical thinking.

In the meantime, my time is limited and I can barely keep up with all the free information screaming at my head.  And unlike most, I'm giving back by creating content myself, whatever that's worth.  (Not enough to make me a Must Follow Iowan on Twitter, I guess.)  So the Wall Street Journal will have to get along without my 12 bucks.  That paywall makes that article less critical to me, and I had my own article to write.

No comments: