The NSA didn’t wake up and say, ‘Let’s just spy on everybody.’ They looked up and said, ‘Wow, corporations are spying on everybody. Let’s get ourselves a copy.
The federal government made enough money on student loans over the last year that, if it wanted, it could provide maximum-level Pell Grants of $5,645 to 7.3 million college students.
The $41.3-billion profit for the 2013 fiscal year is down $3.6 billion from the previous year but still enough to pay for one year of tuition at the University of Michigan for 2,955,426 Michigan residents.
It’s a higher profit level than all but two companies in the world: Exxon Mobil cleared $44.9 billion in 2012, and Apple cleared $41.7 billion.
Vice was once a humble magazine about doing heroin and having sex (on heroin). Now, Vice is a global multimedia company, partly owned by Fox, valued at $1.4 billion. Vice is so successful that it no longer needs to exist.
On Friday, news broke that 21st Century Fox, which was recently spun off from News Corp, is sinking $70 million into Vice for a 5% stake in the company. That means the notional value of Vice as a whole is $1.4 billion. That means that Vice is worth about six times as much as the Washington Post, and just a wee bit less than the New York Times. If there was any doubt left, the counterculture has now become the establishment. There is now only one degree of separation between Rupert Murdoch and “The Meth-Fueled, Weeklong Orgies Ravaging London’s Gay-Sex Party Scene.”
[Was hard] news ever commercial?
Gerald J. Baldasty’s book, The Commercialization of News in the Nineteenth Century, makes a case clear as spring water that hard news has almost never been a mass commercial enterprise.
The American newspapers of the 1820s and early 1830s were creatures of political parties, edited by zealots. Essentially propaganda sheets, these newspapers were “devoted to winning elections,” as Baldasty wrote… Without newspapers, top political organizer Martin Van Buren once said, “we might as well hang our harps on willows.”
Political parties supported the papers financially, and when editors strayed from the party line into independence, the parties would dump their newspapers.
Politicians in Rajasthan speak about the growing trend in Indian newspapers to offer politicians favorable coverage for money. “A local paper offered me a package,” said a Rajasthan lawmaker. If he paid the amount of money that particular newspaper was demanding, he would get favorable coverage. If he declined to pay, the newspaper would slander him in its pages.
Vinay Sitapati, The New York Times. Hindi Paper Finds Success Going Hyperlocal.
FJP: Sketchy business model of its competitors aside, this is a fascinating profile of the Patrika newspaper group in India.
Rajasthan Patrika, which is printed in 33 main and 250 local editions has a readership of 14.6 million steadily grown since 1956 when its founder started the paper with a $8.30 loan. Yes, eight dollars and 30 cents.
Its growth has been attributed, in part, to focusing on the hyperlocal and going where other publishers have no reporters.
Rajasthan Patrika has not been accused of participating in the pay scheme indicated in the quote above.