In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 15, 2005 / 6 Nisan, 5765

Media elite debate whether the media are elite

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | WASHINGTON — Ever since November, when President George W. Bush stunned so-called "media elites" by winning re-election, the media elite have been haunted by self-doubt.

How could they have missed what was coming? Is America really divided into reds and blues — the colors assigned to a U.S. map displaying voting patterns? Are the media really elitist — disconnected from "ordinary Americans," as the media like to refer to the folks out yonder?

The answer is implicit in the question, isn't it? When "they" are "ordinary," then the media are Something Else. Extraordinary, perhaps? Even so, it's a hopeful, if somewhat belated, sign that industry insiders are aware something's amiss.

Thus, editors convening here this week at the annual meeting of the American Society of Newspaper Editors did what editors often do when they gather in a group. They tortured themselves with self-recrimination. What are we doing wrong? Why are circulations dropping? Why do they hate us?

Our beloved newspaper industry is in trouble, you may have heard. Between declining public trust in old "dead tree" media, dips in circulation and advertising revenues, competition from new digital media, not to mention relentless pressure from those fact-checking whippersnappers hurling deadeye darts from the blogosphere, newspapers are in a bit of a slump.

And things are predicted to get much worse unless newspapers make radical changes.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose company's holdings include 20th Century Fox, Fox Television Studios and the New York Post, spoke bluntly to the gathering about how the digital revolution blindsided the traditional news industry.

Murdoch focused mostly on how to respond to changing appetites of the rising generation of news consumers, who are more likely to turn to the Internet for their tidings. He urged that newspapers save themselves by embracing the digital revolution, in part by incorporating blogging into news coverage and by improving Web sites.

But what struck me as far more interesting than the mechanics of the news business were Murdoch's observations about the human aspect, specifically journalists' attitudes toward the consumers they hope to woo.

Basically, he said, too many journalists think their readers are, shall we say, dim.

" Studies show we're in an odd position: We're more trusted by the people who aren't reading us. And when you ask journalists what they think about their readers, the picture grows darker," Murdoch said.

He cited a recent study that found the percentage of national journalists who have confidence in ordinary Americans' ability to make good decisions has declined by more than 20 points since 1999.

This attitude may reflect personal politics or prejudices, Murdoch said, but "really, it's a polite way of saying that reporters and editors think their readers are stupid. Newspapers whose employees look down on their readers can have no hope of ever succeeding as a business."

It's amazing how honest people can be when they're not looking to get promoted.

There's something kind of adorable, in an odd way, about the elite media trying to decide if they're elitist. It's sort of like inmates in an insane asylum considering their circumstances and concluding: "You don't look crazy to me."

With a few exceptions, journalists tend to think mostly alike about most things, and they generally tend to be more liberal than mainstream America. This isn't a criticism necessarily — there's no Fourth Estate conspiracy — it's just the nature of the beast. After all, what kind of person wants to labor long hours in exchange for public contempt and low pay? Brilliant people, obviously.

The problem is, when you spend most of your time with people who essentially mirror your attitudes and beliefs, you begin to get a distorted view of the world. You look around and conclude: "You don't seem elitist to me."

It's hard to be objective about oneself, of course, which is why people go to therapists to solve life's little riddles.

In life, it is good to know oneself, but in business, it is crucial to know one's customers. As most ordinary Americans know, there are lots of ways to be smart and lots of ways to be dumb and not all are quantifiable. Common sense, street smarts and country wisdom aren't measured by standardized tests, diplomas or resumes.

If newspapers die, it won't be because journalists were smarter than their readers.

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