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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Think I’m overreacting about legacy media?

Read this. George Will cites the following statistics in "Media Meltdown":

The circulation of daily U.S. newspapers is 55.2 million, down from 62.3 million in 1990. The percentages of adults who say they read a paper "yesterday" are ominous:

- 65 and older — 60 percent.
- 50-64 — 52 percent.
- 30-49 — 39 percent.
- 18-29 — 23 percent.

Americans ages 8 to 18 spend an average of 6 hours and 21 minutes a day with media of all sorts but just 43 minutes with print media.

The combined viewership of the network evening newscasts is 28.8 million, down from 52.1 million in 1980. The median age of viewers is 60. Hence the sponsorship of news programming by Metamucil and Fixodent. Perhaps we are entering what David T.Z. Mindich, formerly of CNN, calls "a post-journalism age."

Writing in the Wilson Quarterly, in a section on "the collapse of big media," he rejects the opinion of a CBS official that "time is on our side in that as you get older, you tend to get more interested in the world around you." Mindich cites research showing that "a particular age cohort's reading habits do not change much with time."

This is not a good time for legacy media to simply refuse to get the fact that Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins are wrong. The universe and life forms do show evidence of intelligent design. So their views should not be treated as public truths.

Tomorrow’s blogs ( or even tonight’s, if I get a chance) will be about ID issues generally. I am pumped about mainstream media right now, having just done a show on its shortcomings. We never get to say all we want on a TV show, or even half. As my favorite host, Richard Landau, warns inexperienced guests, "TV is shallow." Hey, it's a great medium for starting to unpack a topic, but you have to switch to other media to go deeper.

To find out more about my book on the intelligent design controversy, go to By Design or by Chance?

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