26 July 2007

Truth Will Out

I was pleased to see that the story about Prince giving away CDs in various ways, and making money from live performances, is starting to get picked up by more news outlets. Obviously, when people are presented with a real-life alternative to making money from CDs, things become a little clearer.

But I was disappointed to come across this story about the Los Angeles Times killing a feature by Patrick Goldstein, one of its own reporters, that suggested it follow suit:

His The Big Picture column for Tuesday was killed, apparently by associate editor John Montorio. Goldstein's offense was to propose that the Times follow the lead of the U.K.'s Mail on Sunday (which distributed 2.9 million free Prince CDs) and partner with older artists to give away music in the paper. He argued it could help make the Times website a destination for fans and reduce the need for front page ads (which the editor of the Times himself calls a huge mistake.)

This was doubly stupid. First, it's a great piece. Here's the conclusion:

Giving music away doesn’t mean it has lost its value, just that its value is no longer moored to the price of a CD. Like it or not, the CD is dying, as is the culture of newsprint. People want their music — and their news — in new ways. It’s time we embraced change instead of always worrying if some brash new idea — like giving away music — would tarnish our sober minded image. When businesses are faced with radical change, they are usually forced to ask — is it a threat or an opportunity? Guess which choice is the right answer.

Spot on.

But spiking this piece was also stupid because it was bound to get out - both the piece and story about its spiking - and people like me were bound to spread the news. Thanks to this new-fangled Internet thing, truth will out - eventually. (via TechDirect.)

Update: And as further proof that you can't just bury this stuff, here's a New York Times piece about the incident.

No comments: