It isn't a big secret that newspaper readership is declining; the internet provides more diverse, more timely information, and two way interaction is a requirement for news providers that hold any hope of retaining the attention of readers. Ebay and Craigslist both eat into their advertising revenues in ways they can't hope to counter, offering national reach and immediacy that a tangible thing like a printing press can never match.
Their decline is made even more precipitous by poor editorial decisions. The ownership of these entities, old, white, and conservative, push editorial boards to positions out of step with the internet generations, and this editorializing overflows into failures in basic journalism.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recently shat down its own leg, ignoring the Pennsylvania Progressive Summit completely, until they found two of the 194,000 PSEA union members who felt that the gathering was 'too liberal' ...
Keystone Progress executive director Mike Morrill had this to say:
The Tribune-Review published its first hit piece today on the Pennsylvania Progressive Summit (www.paprogressivesummit.org). They reported that two members, out of 191,000 members, complained about the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) being a sponsor of the Summit, scheduled for January 22-23 at the Station Square Sheraton in Pittsburgh.
That’s it. That’s the whole story. Two public school union members complained that they didn’t like their dues money being used to sponsor an event that supports adequate funding for public schools. (You can read the whole story here:
How is this news? Two people complaining about their dues money? What’s next? A story about my 2 sons (aged 9 and 11) complaining about their bedtime?
That’s what I call it a hit piece.
If you were trusting the Tribune-Review to inform you of what was happening in Pittsburgh, which you ought to not do if this is what passes for reporting, you'd come away with the idea that the aging, shrinking, angry white minority is still in charge of this country.
Here in the land of objective reality the final numbers aren't in, but at a bare minimum five hundred Progressive activists, union organizers and Democratic political figures are going to crowd into the Sheraton Station Square for two days of speeches, sessions, and hallway networking.
We're going to see the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Progressive Caucus co-chair Raul Grijlava, Progressive Congress executive director Darcy Burner, Senator Casey, former Congressman Sestak, and Jim Dean.
There are over seventy workshops on every sort of issue you could imagine. I'm doing social media metrics with Alan Rosenblatt from Center for American Progress. Beth and Alan are going to talk social media strategy. Beth tells me there are a lot of messaging workshops, and even the issues sessions are going to have a strong messaging component.
They've lined up a nice party for Saturday night - music with Jasiri X and Boca Chica. You know Jasiri - he of "What if the Tea Party was black?"
Oh, and there is some darned awards ceremony I was going to skip, but Beth says we might be seated with Reverend Jackson and Leo W. Gerard from International Steel Workers. I guess I better turn up for that ...
But the big question is ARE YOU GONNA TURN UP? You already know Pittsburgh is pretty cool from Netroots Nation 2009. it's gonna be really cool in January, but it wasn't a problem in 2010 - we packed 600 people into the convention center and many, many good things happened.
So ... sign up now, operators are standing by ...