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indústria da imprensa impressa

I thought that I would try, as pretentious as this sounds, and if you will forgive the cliche, to speak truth to power.

in "Firing journalists won’t save the media" 4 novembro 2016
♪ Sounded like the truth
♪ Seemed the better way
♪ Sounded like the truth
♪ But it's not the truth today
♪ I better hold my tongue
♪ I better take my place
♪ Lift this glass of blood
♪ Try to say the grace

Já abordámos a indústria da BD no digital à qual seguimos um resumo na variante webcomics. Hoje importa-nos a intersecção da indústria dos cartoons à imprensa. Julgamos que vos fizemos um bom caso pelos comics nos media, mas estes últimos atravessam a sua convulsão existencialista protelada pelo digital -a mesma que nos promete o acesso sem precedentes à comunicação de massas- pelo que teremos que problematizar o actual momento pelo mesmo preceito que se movem: money makes tha world go round.

Ie, se realmente não consegues antever uma alternativa. Não validamos os seus propósitos ainda que esses os demandam nas suas intenções, e antevê-las é-nos vantajoso à feliz coincidência de nos posicionarmos à sua trajetória. Antes e desde já, a recuperar e reforçar o que dissemos em ocasiões anteriores sobre o tópico:

“...que nos prova que para fazeres algo de significativo não precisas de lhe indexar um pagamento - pelo contrário, pode-se fazer o caso de que o despreendimento às cláusulas de um qualquer contracto fomentam a liberdade de criação”
in Real Nós

Da nossa exposição ao momento: os comics, de origem senhores de uma relação intrínseca à imprensa escrita, têm um natural potencial de valorização nos novos media. O disrupt digital que os potencia simultaneamente desencadeia a ameaça existencial da imprensa escrita na qual originalmente desenvolveram a sua validade. O que infere à nossa hipótese da BD no digital um universo sem jornais - ou, pelo menos, sem os jornais do teu avô? Pouco ou nada é a conclusão se nos tens prestado atenção: queremos infectar os media onde o acederem, circundá-los e inundar as web-ó-esfera em alternativa aberta por via dos webcomics se o modelo de participação a vingar se revelar restrito.

MAS,

- essas são as nossas intenções. Consideremos as deles.

Contextualizemos com um apanhado recente explicitamente na sobreposição dos comics e imprensa. Enter The Comics Journal, circa março de 2016, no artigo "Consider the Source of the Crisis in the Newspaper Comics Strip Kingdom".

Que culpa temos se os títulos são tão sugestivos?

Um resumo de cup/copy & mash-it-all-up para teen ler em andamento célere. A proposição que se segue:

Every time I am confronted anew by yet another chorus of “comic strips are a dying medium,” I’m compelled to rush to the barricades again. I don’t agree.
in "Consider the Source of the Crisis in the Newspaper Comics Strip Kingdom" 21 março 2016

Porque.

I don’t think comic strips are a dying art form; nor do I think newspapers are dying — the proposition upon which the death of comic strips is predicated - newspapers are in financial trouble, and because they are the platform for comic strips, comic strips must also be in trouble
in "Consider the Source of the Crisis in the Newspaper Comics Strip Kingdom" 21 março 2016

A relação comics/media extravasa largamente o jornal impresso, os comics - um certo género - estão de saúde e provavelmente a ficar melhor em tempos por vir, e a razão de iniciarmos este périplo pelo artigo em causa -fora o título do mesmo - prende-se com a coincidência de temas que nos ocuparam no último post. Recordam-se dos altweeks? Ponte para continuar desses, na similitude a outros modelos de imprensa:

Small city newspapers (dailies and weeklies) aren’t complaining. Why not? Because they’re not in the kind of trouble big city papers are in. They still get sufficient revenue from advertising, display and classified: local businesses have no place else to advertise.
in "Consider the Source of the Crisis in the Newspaper Comics Strip Kingdom" 21 março 2016

Os alties estão em declínio e não escapam à mesma sorte da imprensa impressa em geral: o digital é mesmo um disrupt que não se pode ignorar. Mas. O ponto que levantam na afirmação anterior não nos é estranho e já mereceu referências várias nas nossas teses: o local enquanto nicho. Se na web os nichos proliferam e tornam-se a tendência geral - passe a piada...- , não é de admirar que no mundo físico estes tenham igualmente uma predominância a considerar: se na oposição aos nichos a informação generalista online sofre de pior sorte, voltemos também às consequências no mundo real dos metropolitan newspapers:

The continued existence of small town papers serves simply to make my point: the newspapers that are in trouble financially in this country are big city papers.
in "Consider the Source of the Crisis in the Newspaper Comics Strip Kingdom" 21 março 2016

Por duas razões.

Classified advertising disappeared into the Internet & shift(ing) content to the Internet, creating digital editions to attract the young readers who weren’t buying print papers anymore.
in "Consider the Source of the Crisis in the Newspaper Comics Strip Kingdom" 21 março 2016

O que nos retorna ao ponto de partida:

Still, it’s true, irrefutable actually, that newspapers are in financial trouble and comic strips (and staff editorial cartoonists) are in trouble as a direct consequence. (...) Comics are being dragged along into the big city newspaper financial crisis.
in "Consider the Source of the Crisis in the Newspaper Comics Strip Kingdom" 21 março 2016

E é aqui que o tópico se torna merecedor de toda a nossa atenção. Soluções, eles encontrá-las-ão -

They’ve found a way—as all capitalists do

Those who predict the end of both newspapers and their comic strips have been seduced into that belief by the seemingly sensible conviction that change is inevitable and that change implies the destruction of whatever it takes the place of. These disciples of change are ignoring an overriding principle in a capitalist society: money rules, and the profit motive decides everything. And the profit motive suggests a cheerier future for both newspapers and comics.
in "Consider the Source of the Crisis in the Newspaper Comics Strip Kingdom" 21 março 2016

O que nos retorna ao ponto anterior ao ponto de partida: antever as suas intenções e posicionarmo-nos nestas. A solução proposta neste caso específico é-nos tão particularmente interessante que merecerá desenvolvimento em post posterior com considerações própria. Fica o rationale:

My take on the present predicament is that the shareholders who are demanding greater and greater profits from newspapers that suffer dropping revenues will eventually lose patience. As they tire of waiting for the return of those whopping revenues of the last century, they’ll bail out, selling their shares at a loss if need be just to escape a situation that is no longer making bales of money for them. And eventually, newspaper ownership will fall once again into the hands of private persons, billionaires with nothing to do with their money but have fun. And running a newspaper for fun and power is the traditional name of the game.
in "Consider the Source of the Crisis in the Newspaper Comics Strip Kingdom" 21 março 2016

Se esboçaste agora mesmo um minúsculo sorriso do canto da boca é porque estamos em sintonia. Se não o compreendeste não te preocupes, passamos à demonstração já que apesar dos fitos capitalistas asseverados a solução proposta é-te mais familiar do que parece. Paradoxalmente, ouviste-a aqui primeiro.

Em resumo, imprensa:

they’ll go on for as long as grocery stores are operating—because of the coupons
in "Consider the Source of the Crisis in the Newspaper Comics Strip Kingdom" 21 março 2016

Dos comics e da imprensa:

newspapers have other, purely financial, reasons for continuing to publish comics: they need to fill pages with something
in "Consider the Source of the Crisis in the Newspaper Comics Strip Kingdom" 21 março 2016

E da importância dos comics:

so comic strips aren’t doomed at all: they seem poised on the cusp of another Golden Age
in "Consider the Source of the Crisis in the Newspaper Comics Strip Kingdom" 21 março 2016

Longo reforço agora antes da foto de família às propostas de valor acrescentado. Golden Age, dizíamos? Concordamos. Se te conseguires adaptar. Ponte para outro artigo - culpemos novamente o titulo do dito: "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

A propósito do Ted Rall e do Matt Bors já o citamos anteriormente. Um rápido recap, cartoons e imprensa escrita ainda:

At the start of the 20th century, there were approximately 2,000 editorial cartoonists employed by newspapers in the United States. Today there are fewer than 40 staff cartoonists, and that number continues to shrink. (...) There are fewer than 1,400 daily newspapers today, several thousand below the peak in 1913. Since then, the nation’s population has more than tripled, to 311 million.
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

Obviamente, a crise. Repetindo,

For more than a century, American newspapers have relied on an economic model based on advertising revenue to finance their operations. But the advent of the Internet has turned advertising finances upside down, sharply changing the revenue stream for most newspapers. (...) Readership habits have changed as consumers turn to the Internet for free news and information
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

Mas, e como o dissemos, e repetindo-repetindo-repetindo:

At the same time, the digital age presents more potential outlets for editorial cartoons than at any time in the history of the news media. (...) It’s never been easier for anyone to find a wide audience for their self-expression; the tough part is getting paid for it. The challenge is not one of technology, but of economics.
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

Nitidamente, ocupamos agora um outro especto de problemas já que há algum tempo terminávamos uma entrada nOS POSITIVOS com o "o problema não é tecnológico, é social". Com o social na gaveta por agora, continuemos então com o económico.

Começando pelo social.

The Audience Takes Over

One of the biggest trends in technology that has impacted journalism has been the way that readers and viewers have been brought into the process. “The people formerly known as the audience” as NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen has described them, have changed journalism from a mostly one-way lecture into a cacophony of conversations and audience participation. (...) the audience is in control and wants its voice to be heard. (...) The Internet truly is a participatory medium like nothing seen before.
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

O advento da democratização que o empowerment do público trouxe fez mais do que "rankles many journalists, who resent losing their longtime sense of control":

No longer do you need big bucks to be a publisher or broadcaster. As the business schools say, those once-insurmountable barriers to entry are gone, and competitors to traditional media abound.
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

Controlo, gatekeepers, o habitual. Do lado negativo desta possibilidade de participação do público já prevenimos antes para a mediação disfarçada que ocorre nas redes sociais e podemos voltar a estas novamente. É-nos preocupante que um dos expoentes máximos apontados a essa participação se esgote num Facebook por exemplo:

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the phenomenon of Facebook, the social network started by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg that now counts 750 active million members worldwide, larger than the population of most of the world’s nations.
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

A instrumentalização das redes sociais obedece aos mesmos critérios de sempre, sem surpresas quando a inocência às mesmas se esvanece. A novidade do formato está mesmo na revolução que ajudou a consolidar sobre os media tradicionais e que inferem à "nossa" crise que aqui nos ocupa hoje:

Facebook, and the nearly as popular 140-character status-broadcast network, Twitter, show the social power of connecting people and giving them tools to easily communicate and interact with each other. These social networks are creating a new definition of news and information: intensely personal and very important to the participants, turning the traditional mass market of media on its head.
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

Ie, os nichos. Ie, a informação "local".

For many of us, news about our friends is more important than reporting of politics or foreign conflicts that journalists have long used as their definition of “news.”
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

A localização das notícias circunscritas aos amigos e ao entretenimento acarreta consigo um problema muito concreto também merecedor de uma entrada própria- voltaremos em ocasião futura. Continuando com a crise, enter o digital:

The journalism business in which many of us started out a few years ago simply doesn’t exist anymore. Any other view is romantic and unrealistic. (...) The jobs that do remain in journalism are often very different than the old newsroom job descriptions. Titles like community manager, blogger, search engine optimizer, programmer and social media expert reflect skills that nobody really learned in journalism school or in traditional newsrooms.
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

Fizemos todo este longo parêntesis para reforçar as conclusões anteriores mas sobretudo porque a analogia que se segue é-nos deliciosa e queríamos partilhar-vos a mesma.

What happened to railroad companies at the turn of the 20th century: believing they were in the railroad business, rather than the transportation business, they clung to trains — and missed opportunities to capitalize on the rise of automobiles, trucking and air transport. (...) Sound familiar? Same thing in the media business. Publishers and broadcasters, fat and happy and sitting on enormous, monopoly-enforced profits, didn’t realize they were in the information business and were painfully slow to embrace the changes — and opportunities — being wrought in their industries by fastchanging technology. Upstart competitors such as Google, Apple, Huffington Post, eBay and others now sit atop businesses that media companies once thought they dominated.
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

Os media demoraram em compreender que estavam no negócio da informação, não no negócio dos jornais. Hoje ainda, os media nacionais julgam sobretudo estar no negócio dos jornais. O resto é história:

Over the past few years, newspapers, especially, have seen their core businesses attacked from multiple directions. The traditional triumvirate of newspaper revenue streams — classified advertising, display advertising and circulation — have been significantly eroded. Classifieds, especially, have been a ruinous loss, because the pages of tiny-type want ads accounted for half (or more) of newspaper revenue and profits. But the rise of free or low-cost classifieds competitors such as Craigslist, eBay and Monster.com has crushed the traditional classifieds business. Similarly, display advertising has moved to the Web or disappeared entirely as the result of consolidation in the retail industry. Online competition for advertising and audiences quickly eroded once wildly profitable media monopolies. It’s not a pretty picture — half of the newspaper industry’s overall revenue has disappeared since 2005.
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"


Como sabemos, a estratégia actual não é final mas aponta já numa direcção óbvia:

At best, publishers and broadcasters can hope to get to a point where the revenue from digital operations can cover costs — and it’s not altogether clear, at this juncture, whether that’s possible. There’s too much competition for audiences and advertising dollars, much of it working at much lower costs than legacy media companies. (...) Indeed, some experts believe a “digital-first” strategy represents the last best hope to save the newspaper business.
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

Nas nossas teses não declamamos a morte do jornalismo - mas perguntem-nos pelo jornal impresso! -, e encontramos vários ecos dessa mesma crença. Continuando com o apanhado da crise no digital:

With these new tools and technologies, more media are being created, by more people, in more formats, than ever before. Journalism is changing, but it isn’t broken. It’s the business models underlying journalism that are in peril. (...) Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism.
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

Sobre o jornalismo enquanto profissão fica para a tal ocasião por vir. On topic mas não se esgotando ou equiparando ambas, retorne-se –e estamos sempre a retornar...- à questão premente à industria da imprensa: $$$

The core issue is how to pay for the kind of high-quality, in-depth journalism that we’ve come to accept as the norm.
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

Responderemos em duas partes.

Primeiro, especificamente sobre os cartoonistas e segundo as intenções de sempre que orientam qualquer arte transformada em oficio transformada em indústria, transformada em ganhos – e perdas -, o modelo que se adivinha:

To a large extent, cartoonists are the prototypes for the model of a modern journalist: independent, scrappy, a bit entrepreneurial. They follow their own muses rather than do editors’ bidding. In today’s world, that’s a good way to operate.
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

Nesta descrição encontramos validade às nossas teses do formato por vir dos comics nos media, e dos media em geral. Já quando entramos no small print descobres que o rat race cobre o bom e o mal, -

Journalism today is a much more individualistic business. If you’re lucky enough to be working for an established media company, you need to be prepared for frequent, wrenching change, with little sense of loyalty. If you’re already independent, you’re already in the new world. (...) Cartoonists have their own challenges, and opportunities, in earning money for their work. With traditional print venues disappearing, cartoonists must find new ways to be seen — and paid. That means, increasingly, working as independent contractors and selling their art to multiple customers, some of them nontraditional. For websites? As advertising illustrations? For corporate uses? It’s a bit like being a graphic artist, providing illustrations for hire. Cartoonists should also be looking for ways to resell their work through anthologies and collections that can be marketed online and through social media. You’ve got to be entrepreneurial and aggressive about finding new and profitable outlets for your work.
in "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over"

Ie, se não consegues conceder uma outra alternativa. Voltemos pois a ela. Segundo: terminando sobre a indústria e o digital, e coming full circle ao capitalista com um artigo publicado esta semana com o sugestivo título de -err, culpados, estes títulos senhores... - "Firing journalists won’t save the media":

I worry that as you flirt dangerously with the newspaper as an occasion for diversion by filling its virtual pages with videos and countless lifestyle-convenience articles, you are on the path to saving your newspapers by destroying what makes them newspapers.
in "Firing journalists won’t save the media" 4 novembro 2016

Conveniências e utilidades várias, listas dos dez, quinze, vintes, entretenimento, gatinhos a tocar piano, estamos longe da importância da imprensa como a conhecemos:

The rise of newspapers occurred in tandem with the rise of modern democracy. (...) As the Enlightenment unfolded and royal dynasties fell, as mercantile economies gave way to industrial economies, as monarchy became replaced by participatory democracy, modern journalism evolved into the powerful check on all the social, political, and economic forces democracy had unleashed that posed a threat to democracy.
in "Firing journalists won’t save the media" 4 novembro 2016

E essa citação anterior será porventura o início do post à profissão do jornalista já prometido hoje três vezes. É-nos também a súmula total para fecharmos argumentos. Estimado júri dos meus pares,

Like all journalists, I am attuned to bullshit. If you are yielding in panic to a new age, you are not adapting to it. If you think you are going to accumulate enough readers among young people who are used to going from one news source to another rather than sticking with one distinguished brand, you are deluding yourselves.
in "Firing journalists won’t save the media" 4 novembro 2016

Como sempre, falamos de conteúdos. Não nos importa o canal ou a plataforma, importa-nos se estes querem limitar ou moldar os conteúdos, como maximizar o conteúdo e a sua eficácia nestes, se te escusas à sua produção ou assistes acrítico à mesma.

Começamos este texto com a conclusão já proposta acima pelo lado dos comics -

Newspaper ownership will fall once again into the hands of private persons, billionaires with nothing to do with their money but have fun. And running a newspaper for fun and power is the traditional name of the game.
in "Firing journalists won’t save the media" 4 novembro 2016

Compare-se a solução proposta pelo lado dos jornalistas:

(Jeff) Bezos (dono da Amazon) bought the Washington Post (…) Rather than commence massive layoffs, Bezos expanded the newsroom and hired dozens more editors and reporters. And though he’s used advanced technology to the hilt in order to transform the newsroom, he’s put all the new techniques in the service of traditional journalism. In this election cycle, The Washington Post has been in the forefront of the press when it comes to criticizing and exposing Trump.

Bezos made The Washington Post a private company, and perhaps it’s time for the prestigious news organizations that have been lopping off their limbs in order to stay in the race to consider some type of restructuring, or even to think about the last resort of selling themselves off to a benevolent multi-billionaire committed to the practice of old-fashioned journalism in the most advanced digital way.
in "Firing journalists won’t save the media" 4 novembro 2016

Notaram o overlap de propostas? Mas a hipótese do benevolente multimilionário é-te familiar por outras vias, mais radicais –ie, se és assim tão manco das ideias – mas cujo sentido se equipara. Na continuação do excerto anterior, as palavras não são nossas:

Maybe the only future for what you might call the legacy news organizations, the only ones with the authority and prestige to serve as a democratic check on undemocratic forces, is to avoid business failure by getting out of the realm of business altogether.
in "Firing journalists won’t save the media" 4 novembro 2016

Sim. Getting out of the realm of business altogether. Sound familiar?

jornalistas...