DMI Blog

Tom Watson

The Media Mogul’s Post Mortem

Alas, I cannot make to tonight's spectacular panel discussion on the press and the 2005 mayoral election, co-sponsored by DMI, Gotham Gazette, and my fave NYC politics blog, The Politicker. But I do have a few thoughts, some jumping off points, and I hope I can pursuade the estimable Andrea, young Ben, and the rest to riff on some of this stuff at The Tank. And so....

- How come no one is asking the question that historians certainly will treat as a mere softball 100 years hence: doesn't a mogul who helped to invent modern media have a built-in edge over a career public servant? Geez people. (Here's a hint: your Sulzbergers, your Murdochs, and your Zuckermans are all in the same, tiny club).

- Another age-old question that's not exactly new in newsrooms: what's the relationship between advertising dollars and the treatment the advertiser gets? That is, Bloomberg the customer and Bloomberg the dashing B1 profile - please comment.

- Why do reporters only start to get at actual demographics and their relationships to issues after the damned election? In short: the post-vote stuff is a jillion times better than that pathetic, jaded horse race pre-vote hackery. Only now are you looking at the aspirations of non-monolithic Hispanic vote, the changing demographics of the African-American community (property values, fellas), the changing role of unions, etc.

- Do reporters remember how to walk? That is, where were the incisive man of the street pieces focusing on issues of local relevance - why did you move from Olympics/Jets straight to money/no money overnight, spending way more time hanging with Magic Johnson and other non-NYC voters?

- Did you folks know there's this institution in town called the "stock market"that has a huge effect on the monies New York takes in and can therefore spend?

- And speaking of spending, it's up - way up. Do taxpayers get their money's worth? (Yes, the Fred Siegel question).

As Washington debates "torture light" and whether or not the U.S. is in the right, you guys ought to be debating the "reporting light" we all saw before election day and ask yourselves - as a certain Democratic campaign certainly is - "what went wrong?"

Tom Watson: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 2:58 PM, Nov 16, 2005 in Democracy | New York | The Media
Permalink | Email to Friend