A Moment of Jen
THE NEXT BEST THING — In Stores July 3rd!

Monday, February 09, 2009
posted by Jen at 2/09/2009 12:19:00 PM

It’s been almost a week since I wrote to Brian Tierney, head of the Philadelphia Media Holdings and publisher of both the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News with an offer to sponsor the Inky's book coverage...and, even though I made a bunch of new Facebook friends, not a word yet from Mr. Tierney.

The phone’s not ringing. The in-box isn’t chiming. Ladies, I think we all know what this means.

Brian Tierney: he’s just not that into me. (Unless, perhaps, there are lots of people with innovative ideas and open checkbooks offering to help the ailing papers, and I'm just somewhere toward the end of the line).

Even though I'm getting the old cold shoulder from the Inky's new boss, I still think my idea has some merit.

Last week, both the Daily News’ Stu Bykofsky and Time’s Walter Isaacson wrote that the only thing that will save print journalism is getting readers to pay for the reporting and commentary that they’ve gotten used to getting for free.

Which is exactly what I want to do. I want to pay for content.

True, I would also want to occasionally dictate what that content should include…but really, would that be so different from the way things are now?

Newspapers are always beholden to someone, whether it’s shareholders screaming for higher profits, readers threatening to cancel their subscription because the font in “Funky Winkerbean” is too damn small, or p.o.’d PR guys hollering that they'll pull their ads unless the paper starts writing puff pieces about their clients.

If you've got to be in bed with someone, why not me? I'll be gentle. I'll only ask for the weird stuff every once in a while

Plus, I guarantee, if PMH gets that $10 million it's seeking from the state government, those gentlemen would be a hell of a lot more demanding than I could ever dream of being. Do we really want a paper where every reference to Ed Rendell includes the phrase “as handsome as he is powerful?”

In other bookish news, I have pinpointed the method by which a lady memoirist can guarantee herself ample and admiring coverage from the New York Times.

Step one: If you can't be an important male writer, at least arrange to edit important male writers.
Step two: Be British.
Step three: Die.

Finally, my new favorite blog, a must-read for Times junkies, newspaper aficionados, or students of eschetology: the Nytpicker. Want to know why David Carr keeps quoting the same "expert" (and giving him a different title each time?) Can't remember what accuracy-challenged TV critic Alessandra Stanley called "Everybody Loves Raymond?" (It was "All About Raymond.") Who's that guy writing on the paper's book blog, and why does he hate romance novels so much? The Nytpicker knows!
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