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Killed: Great Journalism Too Hot to Print (1 Viewer)

americanwriter

Senior Member
Killed: Great Journalism Too Hot to Print
Multiple contributors
Edited by David Wallis
ISBN 1-56025-581-1

This is a terrific collection of journalistic articles that editors from various publications have contracted for then killed for a variety of reasons, mostly pressure from some other place. Sad. The works are generally very interesting, and yes, controversial.

The book infuriates me as a reader, not the book because of its content or it's quality but the obvious lesson it teaches, and for the record I am offended by the arrogant presumption of the publishers-that-be thinking they know what I will or will not want to know about as a citizen. Here's to all the journalists who write what is truthful, even when it is not popular, and somehow manage to get it past the editor's desk to the people. We the people need to re-educate the publishing industry on what the first amendment really means when it says "freedom of speech," it is not translated, "advertisers have the final vote."

8)
 

Lupin3

Senior Member
I think a topic on Constitutional "Freedom of Speech" would be an interesting one.

Just to play the devil's advocate, it could be argued that the publisher's ability to choose which works to publish is itself constitutionally protected free speech.

Personally, I think what the publisher's need is a lesson in post-Internet publishing economies...But I'll probably need to learn that one first myself...
 

americanwriter

Senior Member
I agree that publishers do have the right to pick and choose, but before a writer accepts a contract to write an article, he/she and the publisher/editor talk and the general concept is hammered out. Granted the writers, in these cases, still got paid their kill fees and were, in some cases, able to place the work elsewhere. It is just sad that advertising has such a stranglehold on a publication's survival that the publishers/editors have to kowtow to advertisers or be financially remonstrated by them for not yielding.

We need to free our publishers and writers to write more of what is real and not just puff pieces to adorn publications so advertisers can sell their products. In days long ago, subscribers supported the publications so they didn't HAVE to carry advertising.

With today's competition for advertising space, however, publishers don't seem to realize they've got more leverage than they think. They just need to call advertisers' bluffs once in a while to see just how much.
 

Lupin3

Senior Member
But aren't the advertising execs just trying to deliver to the readers what the readers want? :wink:
 

sully474

Senior Member
The people at the magazines can print whatever they feel like, and I haven't heard of any proof that they only said no, because it wouldn't work with the advertising.
 

MisterRaziel

Senior Member
Speaking as a journalist, you have to remember that we, like everyone else, must kowtow to the almighty dollar.

It'd be all well and good for me to write an article on soil erosion, but to the layman, soil erosion is boring as hell. It's all about what will sell papers. A local newspaper, the Calgary Herald, ran a page 2 article on whether or not Chelsea Clinton has had plastic surgery.

That got me well and truly choked. At the time, Israel was beginning construction of that goddamn wall of theirs, and our page 1 was about golf, and page 2 was about Chelsea Clinton.

Why did this paper sell out journalistic integrity? To sell papers.

So editors and publishers are always thinking about how anything will sell. Perhaps these articles would have irked the bulk of the audience? Perhaps people would have seen the headline to any of these articles and said "Hmm, I don't like that. Maybe I'll watch MSNBC instead".

It's rough, but the "free press" isn't quite as free as you'd think.
 

americanwriter

Senior Member
From the reader's perspective, the magazines and newspaper editors and publishers are too far removed from the people to really know what they want. They consistently underestimate our need for intellectual stimulation with in-depth articles on serious subjects and feed far too much superficial sunshine to stroke the public's egos.

For those of your journalists who still care about the serious subject matter, may God grant you the venue to tell it like it is, whether the soap manufacturer makes a sale or not.
 
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