As most of you are perfectly well aware, there are a lot of really bad YouTube videos floating around out there online. But occasionally, a video comes along that it so ragingly goofy—embarrassing, even—that you can’t help but share it with friends.
To wit: The well-intentioned (yet still cringe-inducing) “Karaoke the News: So Long, Farewell,” a sort of ‘one-last-hoorah’ goodbye video featuring former staffers of The Daily, the News Corp’s tablet-only newspaper that regrettably published its final issue today, December 15, 2012. (Scroll down to view the video.)
Of course, for those of us lucky enough to still have jobs in the publishing industry, it’s always disheartening to learn of hard-working journalists who’ve been laid off through no fault of their own. It’s equally upsetting when yet another high-quality publication chooses—or is forced—to close its doors forever.
And to be perfectly fair, there is something to be said about the good humor and positive attitudes displayed by the soon-to-be-laid-off staffers in “Karaoke the News;” it probably wasn’t easily to put on such a brave face in the midst of such an unfortunate moment. (As reported by the Global Post and numerous other publications, however, “Many of the top jobs at The Daily will move to Murdoch’s other publications, like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.”)
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A number of blogs and websites have been asking their readers to weigh in with their own thoughts and theories about The Daily‘s closure, and we’d like to do the same. In the comments section below, please let us know why you think The Daily ultimately failed. For instance, what did The Daily do wrong, and what could it have done differently? In your opinion, did the paper have one particularly obvious Achilles’ heel, or was its downfall more complicated than that?
(Full-disclosure: I was an occasional freelance contributor to The Daily, and was under contract to write four feature stories for the paper’s travel department when word of its closure was made public.)
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Update! Turns out this “Karaoke the News” business was something of a tradition at The Daily, and not just a one-off project. Also: Some of the videos are actually really good. The person or team who put this one together, for example, has got some serious skills. (Attention broadcast media outlets: Give these people a job, already!)
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It’s simply very hard to compete against free. Unlike days gone by when news was scarce and we’d pay well for scraps of it, we now enjoy or are cursed by a surfeit of news and commentary. Teleread is but one of a gazillion such streams.That open fire hydrant of information comes at no cost to us and most are untroubled by the Soylen Green nature of our relationship with these informational and entertainment products. We blithely trade information about ourselves for infotainment.
The Daily did not achieve escape velocity. It could not offer us something that was clearly superior to that which is available in great quantity and variety for free. So the gravity of free pulled the number of paying subscribers and advertisers below sustainable levels. Thus the inevitable corporate euthanasia.