Monday, December 08, 2008

Good News; Bad News

Mixed messages from this morning's news

We'll give you the good news first, via this morning's Yahoo News story:
Price of gas hits lowest point in nearly 5 years
No sooner did we read that however than we stumbled upon this disheartening news from those killjoys at Bloomberg.com:
Oil Rises First Time in Seven Days as OPEC Signals Output Cut
Dang! We don't know about the rest of our gentle readers, but we believe we'll step out right now to top off the trusty WeberCountyForumMobile gas tank.

Update 12/9/08 12:40 p.m. MT: Thanks to a heads-up from one our gentle readers, we post a link to the UtahGas Prices.com website, which purportedly keeps track of low real-time gasoline prices in Emerald City:
Ogden gas prices - find the lowest prices here.
Interesting, innit?

13 comments:

confirmed at last said...

I find it most interesting that when you talk about the real issues we face like the financial crisis and the political mess that you get little or no feedback.

This just confirms what I have long suspected which is that no locals know what the hell is going on so they don't even know enough to put in their 2 cents worth..

Rafiki said...

I'd personally like to see $6 a gallon gas. So for me this is bad then good news

How's that for $.02?

Merle said...

Yo "Confirmed"

That's why its called the "WEBER COUNTY" forum and not the national or international forum. I rather suspect that many of the legions who peruse and post here also blog on national forums where they let their opinions be heard.

Perhaps it is your suspicious mind that doesn't know what the hell is going on?

disgusted said...

i find it interesting that rudi didnt note the top local story today in the paper.
sales tax revenues grim.
ogden city revenues are down 9% from the same time last year. stay tune city council it will only get worst.
godfrey keeps telling the city council that ogden is actually defying the trend and that ogdens revenues will be flat or just down marginally compaired to last year. guess what ogden is catching up fast with the rest of the communities in seeing its tax revenues declining.
when is city council going to start telling godfrey to pound sand on his next capital spending project. how many city services are the city council going to take away from the residents to support godfreys next capital project.
wake up city council and start looking around rather than relying on the administration to spoon feed you.

Lionel said...

Another big economic story today is the Tribune corporation filed bankruptcy. That being the Chicago Tribune, not the Salt Lake variety. I think they own large papers in several major cities as well as the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

Tough times in the newspaper biz as the internet is eating their lunch big time. Makes me wonder how long the Sub-Standard, run by bean counters and very short on real newspaper people, will stay in business. They are becoming more irrelevant with every lame Schwebke article and insipid Porterless editorial they schlock together. I don't think that being 6 feet up Godfrey's butt helps them at either. I think they would sell a lot more papers if they did some smart investigative articles on all the lies, manipulations, and incompetent moves of this city administration. Sucking up to the mayor and his henchmen has become so routine and boring that they have lost their status as guardians of the public trust. Almost every pertinent piece about the city government is riddled with mistakes, omissions and down right lies, some repeated endlessly. I doubt if any one will really miss the rag once it is dead.

disgusted said...

look out lionel. you can expect curm to come to their defense. he thinks lies mis-information and omissions are better than no newspaper. to me the sub-standard is no better than channnel 17.
the only thing worth reading the paper for are the obits and the comics. that comment will surely get a response from curm.

Curmudgeon said...

Well, Lionel, the SE at last report is one of the relatively few mid-sized city dailies that was still making money. [May be different now in the last quarter of the year thanks to the Bush recession and its attendant loss of ad revenues]. But it's hard to argue that the paper's owners and editor's formula is not working when the SE seems to be one of the few in the black.

Sadly, though, I suspect one of the ways they stay in the black is by moving further from the older tradition of "crusading daily" and more in the direction of Daily Entertainment Magazine. [Think "Spotted!"]

The SE brass tells me that they don't have the revenues to pay for investigative reporting, which requires much time to develop and research stories. Taking a reporter off his or her regular work means they need more staff to cover the reporter's regular duties. In a cost-paring environment, that's not likely to happen.

Hell, the NYTimes is losing money. The Miami Herald is up for sale. The Chicago Tribune filed for bankruptcy yesterday. There is serious doubt that daily print journalism in the form we grew up with can survive at all long term, since the internet and 24/7 cable news has taken over the main function of print papers: providing the latest news to readers who had no good access to it otherwise.

Finally, you need to remember, I think, that WCF folks tend to be policy wonks and news junkies, particularly regarding Ogden/Weber. Sadly, most folks, particularly young folk, are not. It'd be wrong to assume that there is the same level of interest out there among the general public about city governance as there is at WCF. Look at the turn out rates in municipal elections, for example.

Yes, the SE should be better than it is in re: city government coverage and city economic matters. But if it did the kind of steady, in-depth coverage of Hizzonah and city agencies and the Council and city economics that many here would like [myself included], I suspect paper sales would decline, not rise. Especially since the SE brass tells me most of their papers are sold outside of Ogden, not in the City. That's why it stopped being the Ogden Standard Examiner some time ago.

In short, as is so often the case, neither the problem we both admit exist, nor their feasible solutions, are as simple and obvious as it seems many think they are.

Folks long-of-tooth in Ogden occasionally here comment about how much better the SE was twenty years ago when [I think] the Glassman family owned, or at least edited it. Granting that to be so, we need to recall that it is now 2008 and we live in a blog and cable and I-pod and Blackberry rich environment. Things are not as they were for newspapers twenty years ago. And thus things that were possible for mid-sized city dailies twenty years ago may no longer be possible today. They were the good ol's when William Allen White thundered in print "What's the Matter With Kansas?" They're not coming back. And somehow, I don't think Ben Hecht's The Front Page would work rewritten as The Front PodCast.

Curmudgeon said...

Disgusted:

If you truly cannot see much difference between the Standard Examiner on the one hand, and Channel 17 on the other, then there's little point in trying to discuss with you either the shortcomings of the SE, or the problems it faces in the current climate for mid-sized city dailies, or how [given those circumstances] it might still improve its coverage of things Ogden and be a better paper than it is.

What I do know is that canceling subscriptions will not make the SE a better paper, and will not be good for Ogden so long as Ogden is treated by the Salt Lake media as a pimple on the butt of their news coverage overall --- except of course for gory murders and car crashes.

drewmeister said...

Wait.. there are people other than my elderly shut-in aunt that still subscribe to the paper?

drewmeister said...

Curm:

What I do know is that canceling subscriptions will not make the SE a better paper, and will not be good for Ogden so long as Ogden is treated by the Salt Lake media as a pimple on the butt of their news coverage overall --- except of course for gory murders and car crashes.

Nonsense. Didn't you hear? Crime is at a 20-year low here in Ogden! -gag-

Curmudgeon said...

Drew:

You wrote: Wait.. there are people other than my elderly shut-in aunt that still subscribe to the paper?

Last report I read, the SE was one of the few dailies in the country that had increased circulation over the last reporting period.

All this wailing about no one reading the SE anymore is beginning to sound a little like Yogi Berra's comment about a hot nightclub in NY City: "Nobody goes there anymore. It's always too crowded."

disgusted said...

Comment promoted to main article

Bill C. said...

A story last night on the News Hour about the Tribune cited two main reasons for declining revenues, advertizing and classifieds. I don't know if most know just how much the SE charges for classifieds, I tried them 2 years ago and it was an arm and a leg. It seems to me they would be well served to compete as best they can with the internet rather than lay down and just complain while dying. Craigs list is free, I don't expect them to do that but over $100 bucks to run the min line add is also ridiculous. The Big Nickel is far cheaper, and they use the SE as a contractor and give their paper away.
Some have mentioned that the reason the SE overlooks lying little matty's enormous shortcomings, such as his persistent dishonesty is due to threats made by the little liar to stop spending the City's money advertizing in their paper. This seems to be a bean counter's call, fearful little wimps. A true journalist would at least call his bluff and continue to do so, at least for a while.
All these media mergers and conglomerates have produced nothing but inferior products, and the people are responding, thus their decline. Perhaps they should consider what made the parers successful in the day and try pruducing a decent product.
Being the only game in town should stimulate boldness, not wimpy chicken sh## milque toast. If they don't change, they won't be in the game.

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