Crumbling institutions can only blame themselves

Much of my young career has been spent working in or around print media. I’ve retained a soft spot for any analysis of the industry’s struggles, but am always struck by the prevailing sentiment that the Internet destroyed newspapers and magazines, and that there was nothing they could have possibly done about it. My experience has been that legacy media organizations can not only survive, but in fact grow, in the digital era. The key is to stop blaming external factors and critically analyze how their organizations must change to continue. Unfortunately, it seems like hundreds of years devoid of competition have left newspapermen to believe they occupy a privilege space that must not be disrupted.

Editors killed newspapers
While I happily lay blame at the feet of publishers and sales departments, I found this critique of editorial staffs a confirmation that there’s plenty of blame to go around. Since editors are essentially the head of product, it’s on them to innovate and drive forward new ways to consume information. Many of the points made here: one-size-fits-all publications, legacy sections and long articles resonate with me as obvious areas for improvement. It’s a shame the incredibly valuable news brands of the 20th century are so intent on destroying themselves: with just a little creativity and invention, they’d have everything they need to be the dominant players going forward as well.

NYU is paying to silence this professor
It’s easy to point at ways the right has become more extreme in its politics, but the left’s moves have been equally insane — if cloaked in a different degree of subtlety. The conversations around being inclusive, diverse and tolerant have accelerated from reasonable debates about public discourse to an Orwellian world view that castigates and attacks anyone who diverts from a constantly shifting set of norms established by liberal elites. It’s this offensive, illiberal lack of tolerance that fuels many of the pitched debated in our country, but is simply taken for granted as “right” by mainstream media. If an idea is so weak that it can’t be challenged without labeling the challenger as bigoted, it doesn’t strike me as a particularly powerful idea.

Rats jumping ship
I am assured to read virtually every “tell-all” book that comes out of the Trump campaign. It’s not surprising that a campaign driven by one man’s love for himself has brought out people who are purely self-interested to work for him. It’s bracing to read about how poorly Trump has managed his team. Equally strange is their lack of commitment to cause — there really does seem to be no gravitas to the campaign beyond building the Trump brand, and a lack of appreciation for the strong feelings that have been stirred across the country.

The looming GOP civil war
This blog is sufficient evidence that I have been #NeverTrump since day one. Although we have 24 hours until the results are in, I’ve already moved past his candidacy mentally to ask myself: “what does my party look like going forward?” I truly don’t know at this point. I’ve considered many times crafting a long post about where I think the GOP ought to go: how we can apply conservative principles, liberty, small government, state’s rights and constitutionalism to form the basis of a robust, inspiring America. But the 2016 process has made me wonder if my thinking about the GOP (like the Boy Scouts: fundamentally strong but in need of updating) is accurate. I’m hoping I won’t have to sit on the sidelines for whatever this act is, because America needs a party to oppose and stop the liberal agenda — not with nativism, but with a portrait of a bright future.