Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I thought this piece was interesting in light of our discussion on cashing in on a reputation.

In class yesterday I said that cashing in on a reputation was more likely to happen either if the person or organization is "end-gamed," in which case rather than go down with the ship people start to behave opportunistically to salvage what they can, quite possibly at the expense of others who get hurt by this behavior, or even if the end is not in sight then in an industry that is declining, which cuts into the rents that address the moral hazard problems.  When the rents start to shrink cashing in becomes more likely.

Newspapers are one such industry in decline.  (And if you've never read this essay by Clay Shirky called Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable, I encourage you to do so when you have some free time.)  The piece below I read after class yesterday.  The first paragraph in the snippet seemed to tie into our discussion quite nicely.  I thought you'd be interested in that connection, as well as what the author argues in the next paragraph.  

At present, I am not sure that profit maximzing news organizations are compatible with journalism that is arms length, avoids senationalism, and acts as a check on power.   When I was college (think Watergate) that compatibility existed.  But things have change, rather dramatically.  So I, for one, am quite uncertain as to how this will play out.

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