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The Post-Advertising Future of the Media - The Atlantic
press doom:
Ultimately, however, the market might not support some forms of journalism. For example, the number of local reporters today is at its lowest point since the 1970s, despite the fact that the U.S. population has grown by 50 percent. Research has shown a direct connection between declining local journalism and less civic engagement. If local news is a public good, it may deserve public support—perhaps in the form of government subsidies. But asking for public assistance might seem like an act of pure desperation.


...
To understand the future of post-advertising media, let’s briefly consider its past. During a period of the early 19th century known as the “party press” era, newspapers relied on patrons. Those patrons were political parties (hence “party press”) that handed out printing contracts to their favorite editors or directly paid writers to publish vicious attacks against rivals.

That era’s journalism was hyper-political and deeply biased. But some historians believe that it was also more engaging. The number of newspapers in the United States grew from several dozen in the late 1700s to more than 1,200 in the 1830s. These newspapers experimented with a variety of journalistic styles and appeals to the public. As Gerald J. Baldasty, a professor at the University of Washington, has argued, these newspapers treated readers as a group to engage and galvanize. Perhaps as a result, voting rates soared in the middle of the 19th century to record highs.

It was advertising that led to the demise of the party press. Ads allowed newspapers to become independent of patronage and to build the modern standards of “objective” journalism. Advertising also led to a neutered, detached style of reporting—the “view from nowhere”—to avoid offending the biggest advertisers, such as department stores. Large ad-supported newspapers grew to become profitable behemoths, but they arguably emphasized milquetoast coverage over more colorful reader engagement.

As the news business shifts back from advertisers to patrons and readers (that is to say, subscribers), journalism might escape that “view from nowhere” purgatory and speak straightforwardly about the world in a way that might have seemed presumptuous in a mid-century newspaper. Journalism could be more political again, but also more engaging again.
#$#journalism  %econ  %history 
11 weeks ago by lemeb
Forgotten Shapes
Clear shapes, easy readability, and the use of design grids: in the 1950s and ’60s, Swiss typography was ubiquitous and seminal. International trade relations required a globally understandable formal language: so-called “neutral” design principles supposedly devoid of cultural peculiarities attempted to respond to that need.
%history  #globalism  *visual*fontlove 
12 weeks ago by lemeb
Evelyn Berezin, 93, Dies; Built the First True Word Processor - The New York Times
In an age when computers were in their infancy and few women were involved in their development, Ms. Berezin (pronounced BEAR-a-zen) not only designed the first true word processor; in 1969, she was also a founder and the president of the Redactron Corporation, a tech start-up on Long Island that was the first company exclusively engaged in manufacturing and selling the revolutionary machines.

To secretaries, who constituted 6 percent of the American work force then, Redactron word processors arrived in an office like a trunk of magic tricks, liberating users from the tyranny of having to retype pages marred by bad keystrokes and the monotony of copying pages for wider distribution. The machines were bulky, slow and noisy, but they could edit, delete, and cut and paste text.
%history  #t#history  *femalehist  %obit  %😃 
december 2018 by lemeb
The Scientists Who Starved to Death Surrounded By Food | Amusing Planet
But the scientists hadn’t barricaded themselves in the vault with food grains to save their lives, but rather to protect these seeds from the Nazis as well as from the starving people plundering through the streets in search for anything to eat.

The collection filled 16 rooms, in which no one was allowed to remain alone. Workers guarded the storage in shifts all round the clock, numb with cold and emaciated from hunger. As the siege dragged out, one by one these heroic men started dying of hunger, but not a single grain was eaten. In January 1942, Alexander Stchukin, a peanut specialist, died at his writing table. Botanist Dmitri Ivanov also died of starvation while surrounded by several thousand packs of rice that he was guarding. By the end of the siege in the Spring of 1944, nine of them had starved to death watching over all that food. Many of the crops that we eat today came from cross-breeding with varieties the scientists saved from destruction.
%history  %😃  %science  #h#wwii 
august 2018 by lemeb
Ancient Rome’s Collapse Is Written Into Arctic Ice - The Atlantic
But for all those years, the source material for the arguments have remained largely the same. Archeologists can locate new sites and excavate for coins, plates, or jewelry; scholars can read and reread Roman writers like Cicero, Sallust, and Catullus, who all documented Caesar. These have been the techniques for learning about Rome for centuries, and they are indispensable. But lately, they have been joined by something new.

On Monday, scientists announced the discovery of an entirely new resource that has the potential to remake some of those centuries-old arguments over Roman politics and history. A team of archeologists, historians, and climate scientists have constructed a history of Rome’s lead pollution, which allows them to approximate Mediterranean economic activity from 1,100 b.c. to 800 a.d. They found it hiding thousands of miles from the Roman Forum: deep in the Greenland Ice Sheet, the enormous, miles-thick plate of ice that entombs the North Atlantic island.

In short, they have reconstructed year-by-year economic data documenting the rise and fall of the Roman Republic and Empire. The first news of the record was published Monday afternoon in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


science ftw
%history  %science 
may 2018 by lemeb
[paper] Religious Competition and Reallocation: The Political Economy of Secularization in the Protestant Reformation
the effect of the protestant reformation on the secularization of the west
Consistent with our framework, religious competition changed the balance of power between secular and religious elites: secular authorities acquired enormous amounts of wealth from monasteries closed during the Reformation, particularly in Protestant regions. This transfer of resources had important consequences. First, it shifted the allocation of upper-tail human capital. Graduates of Protestant universities increasingly took secular, especially administrative, occupations. Protestant university students increas- ingly studied secular subjects, especially degrees that prepared students for public sector jobs, rather than church sector-specific theology. Second, it affected the sectoral composition of fixed investment. Particularly in Protestant regions, new construction from religious toward secular purposes, especially the building of palaces and administrative buildings, which reflected the increased wealth and power of secular lords. Reallocation was not driven by pre-existing eco- nomic or cultural differences. Our findings indicate that the Reformation played an important causal role in the secularization of the West.
%econ  %history  %theory 
may 2018 by lemeb

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