Saturday, November 19, 2005

Can we stop calling it "fake news?"

A few days ago the Daily Show ran a segment on how the city of Newark NJ entered into a six-figure contract to literally buy good news. I assumed it was a creation grown in the fevered, brilliant minds of the show's writers.

I was wrong.

City council will pay for good news in Newark
The council has hired a fledgling newspaper called Newark Weekly News to publish "positive news" about the city -- and will pay $100,000 over the next year for it.

Newark Weekly News owner Howard Scott said he's doing nothing more than providing a service, the same way large newspapers are paid to print the legal advertisements that municipalities are required by law to publish.

"Do we have critical reporters on staff? No. Do we have investigative reporters? No," Scott said. "Our niche is the good stuff. People have come to know it and they love it."

If Newark would only think big. Imagine the value of a book about the city co-written by Bob Woodward and Judy Miller.


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