Tuesday News: digital publishing, Star Wars competition, writing research, and Memorial Day v. Veterans Day
Confessions of a newspaper publishing exec: ‘We’ve screwed up by pursuing scale’ – I think almost every Q&A from this interview could begin with “Dear Twitter,” because the platform has become so twisted by the pursuit of NEW USERS and MORE CLICKS. For the sake of NEW USERS and MORE CLICKS. Given the incredible opportunities for direct democracy and the natural relevance that flows from ongoing immediacy, the drive to measure success as if the news were nothing more than advertising seems especially obnoxious.
What are the repercussions [of pursing scale for its own sake]?
The natural result is that the same value is applied to a person who clicks one of your links on Twitter or wherever, as to a person who returns regularly to the site and regards themselves as a reader. With people consuming more content via Google AMP carousel or via Facebook’s Instant Articles, they’re clicking on links based on someone else sharing them, not because they’re engaged with that publisher’s product. And that’s all part of the “as many people as possible” pursuit. – Digiday
DISNEY RUMORED TO BE IN PANIC MODE OVER STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE – You’ve got to love it when the Star Wars franchise is in heated competition with itself to the point where Disney is actively editing the new film. You know this isn’t going to go well.
According to an insider: “Gareth’s work on the first ‘Godzilla’ [which came out in 2014] shows he can handle a big studio blockbuster. But ‘Rogue One’ has fallen short of what J.J. Abrams did with ‘Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens.’ So Disney has ordered reshoots.”
It’s said Edwards prefers to direct his movies without much influence, but “Disney won’t take a back seat, and is demanding changes, as the movie isn’t testing well.” – Cosmic Book News
Frenchtown novelist did arson research for 1st Harlequin book – An antidote to the ignorant Economist article from yesterday, this profile of Danica Winters focuses on the research she conducted to ensure that her fire inspector protagonist was realistically portrayed. What really caught my attention, though, was this passage on how Winters is attempting to break the societal pattern of blaming women in abusive relationships:
However, the bulk of the criticism of “Smoke and Ashes,” which she said has sold some 21,000 copies in the last month, has focused on the character’s morals: Heather begins a relationship while still married, albeit to an AWOL abusive husband. One magazine article called Heather “morally ambiguous,” a trait that’s usually a point of pride in literary fiction. . . .
More important to Winters were the issues of domestic abuse, which she said she’s experienced in other periods of her life.
“As a female, if you’re raised in a situation where you are abused and believe you have less value than a man, less self-worth, and told you’re fat and ugly and stupid and never going to do anything with your life, then you look for a relationship later in life that is similar to what you already know,” she said.
It typically falls upon the victim to break the cycle, a point she’d rather raise the character’s marriage.
“Why aren’t we celebrating her strength, and her ability to finally see the situation for what it is?” she said. – Missoulian
Why Memorial Day is different from Veterans Day – So apparently people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day? Is that because US history is so poorly remembered? I do like this Mental Floss list of 10 Memorial Day facts, though, especially this one:
7. VIETNAM VETS GO WHOLE HOG
On Memorial Day weekend in 1988, 2,500 motorcyclists rode into Washington, D.C. for the first Rolling Thunder rally to draw attention to Vietnam War soldiers still missing in action or prisoners of war. By 2002, the ride had swelled to 300,000 bikers, many of them veterans. There may have been a half-million participants in 2005, in what organizers bluntly call “a demonstration—not a parade.”
A national veterans rights group, Rolling Thunder takes its name from the B-52 carpet-bombing runs during the war in Vietnam. – Mental Floss and Washington Post