Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

Are Newspapers on the Ropes?

March 10th, 2015 No comments

There is no question about it: most newspapers in the United States are on the ropes.  They are not yet down and out, but they are close to that knockout blow.  I know this, as most of you readers do, from personal experience.  Newspapers are downsizing in size and quality of paper, merging with or selling out to other newspapers or newspaper chains, printing regional editions, laying off journalists and support staff, doing away with proofreaders and newsroom editors, or simply closing their doors, selling their property to real estate developers or declaring bankruptcy.  The picture is pretty bleak.  And international statistics indicate the same development in most countries that allow freedom of the press.


Although being on the ropes is close to being down and out, there have been many times in championship struggles that the entity on the ropes is able to surprise everyone and rebound for a victory.  I believe that this is possible for today’s newspapers.  Newspapers have played a very significant role in the history of the United States of America, and freedom of the press is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.  Certainly every effort needs to be exerted to save our newspapers “because,” as Robert G. Kaiser wrote in an essay for the Brookings Institution, “Journalism is the craft that provides the lifeblood of a free, democratic society.” Read more…

Follow the Money

October 17th, 2014 No comments

When writing last week’s article, Where did that money come from?, a banker called my attention to “Bitcoin,” a virtual currency introduced in 2009.  An informal survey I took indicated that few people know very much about “virtual” currencies.  So this week I decided to do a brief sketch of the historical development of the U.S. monetary system, hitting the highlights of what most of us have known and perhaps become a little foggy about, concluding in more detail with the development of virtual money.  Acknowledging that I am not a currency historian, after extensive research I am using layman’s terminology to explain things as I understand them. 

The value of a country’s currency is basically dependent upon the country’s integrity and having the assets necessary to pay its debt and back up its currency.  This was a real problem for early Americans prior to, and for several years following, the Revolutionary War. Read more…

You You Don’t Have To Be a Quarterback

January 25th, 2014 Comments off

With Super Bowl XLIII only a week away, we are at the end of the 2013 National Football League season. All during the football season, but especially during the playoffs, there is much talk about the quarterbacks. For last Sunday’s A.F.C. championship game, the focus of attention was not so much on the two teams playing, but on the two veteran quarterbacks, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. And the headlines in sports pages across the country on Monday morning were all about whether Manning could win his second Super Bowl ring after sixteen seasons, at age thirty-seven (old for a football player), and after going through multiple neck surgeries in 2011 and having to sit out that entire season.

Last Tuesday (01/21/14), The New York Times had this to say: “The Broncos’ Peyton Manning could become the first quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two franchises. He won Super Bowl XLI in 2007 with the Colts.” I would feel better had The Times story read that “Peyton Manning could become the first quarterback to lead his team to victory” and “He led his team to victory in 2007.” The quarterback is very important, but the quarterback alone does not win the game; it takes the entire team. Read more…