Rupert Murdoch is a throwback to the days of William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, the days when most major cities had multiple dailies duking it out on street corners for readers. That's how Mark Bowden describes Murdoch in a profile for the July/August edition of The Atlantic.
In Hearst and Pulitzer's time, the way to outsell rivals was to have something they did not. Reporting was about scooping the competition, not social reform. Stories were to be written clearly and concisely. Sentences were short and simple; language, plain. Literature was for books, not newspapers. This is how Murdoch understands journalism, Bowden writes.
At a time when newspaper companies are tinkering with futuristic models, Murdoch is doing so with both feet planted firmly in the past. His strategy for success in 2008, says Bowden, is to behave as though the year is 1908.
Tapping the data flood
Wired's July issue declares that we are now living in "The Petabyte Age." That's the theme of a 16-page section on how with increasingly sophisticated software, the handling of almost unheard amounts of data will no longer lead to information overload.
The magazine says 1 petabyte can be thought of as "data processed by Google's servers every 72 minutes." By way of comparison, 20 terabytes represents "photos uploaded to Facebook each month" and 530 terabytes represents "all the videos on YouTube."
Grove's energy vision
Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel, thinks electricity is the solution to America's energy problems. Writing in the July/August edition of The American, Grove lays out a plan of action for weaning America off its addiction to crude oil. Grove stresses that every president since Richard Nixon has set a goal of energy independence. Every target was missed.
The goal, he says, should be energy resilience. America can achieve that by increasing its reliance on electricity. Unlike oil, which is carried across oceans, electricity is transported only over land; it stays within the continent where it is produced. Equally important is the fact that electricity can be produced by multiple sources: petroleum, coal, wind, hydroelectric, solar, nuclear.
But real progress won't come until a large portion of the transportation sector is converted to electricity, beginning with automobiles, he says. Transportation uses more than half of all petroleum consumed in the country.
Black America's wealth loss
The nation's epidemic of home foreclosures and evaporating home equity will hit black America hard, The Nation reports in its July 14 issue. While minority homeownership may have grown during the real estate market boom, the mortgage meltdown marks "a devastating loss that will betray the promise of class mobility for tens of thousands of black families."
Estimates vary on the amount of wealth lost, but United for a Fair Economy estimated in January the wealth loss for people of color at $164 billion to $213 billion, about half of the nation's overall loss.
Contributing: Gary H. Rawlins, Bruce Rosenstein
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