Monthly Archives: October 2012

How the free market can fix the media

The free market is really an easy concept. What motivates us to work? Obviously some of us enjoy it, but our true motivation is money. We want a decent income to live comfortably, provide for our families and if we’re lucky, have enough left over for some creature comforts.

Nothing underscored the beauty of the free market more for me than when I started my own business. Monday became my favorite day of the week; I couldn’t wait to hit the ground running to interact with my customers and get more jobs going. And because I didn’t have an automatic salary just magically appearing in my checking account every two weeks, I had an extra layer of motivation. It’s incumbent on me to make sure I can pay the bills and function.

Part of that is customer service; a BIG part. Customer service is my number one priority. I make sure my customers get their questions answered, are satisfied with the prices and the product, and I make sure they hear from me but not too much. Because I know that there are other companies like mine—and they can easily take their business elsewhere.

Therein lies the problem with the media. They don’t care about the people who watch or read; all they care about is numbers which convert to getting higher dollar for ad space. Somewhere they’ve lost touch with their core principles (in many cases they seem to have no principles at all). For years we’ve been hearing about how circulation numbers for the New York Times and Washington Post are going south. Many people point their finger at the digital age and how no one buys an actual newspaper anymore. Hogwash (does anyone say “hogwash” anymore?). Here’s a novel idea: stop pandering to one segment of society and completely alienating the other—which happens to be a larger segment—and you’ll sell more newspapers.

So maybe, just *maybe* that’s what CNN is doing. We saw Univision step into the large void the MSM left by not completely and accurately covering Fast and Furious. And now, CNN decides to report some actual news. You can apply whichever cliché to this you like: nature abhors a vacuum. Water seeks its own level.

No matter how you slice it, the free market principles would fix the MSM.

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