Connect with us

Business

Alden, Lee and the Buffalo News: We must fight the vulture capitalists circling my old newspaper. – The Washington Post

Published

on

Horror is not too strong a word for how the news hit me. Alden Global Capital, the most rapacious of the ownership groups currently wrecking local newspapers, wanted to buy my old paper, the Buffalo News.
My reaction came partly from sentiment. The daily, one of two that came to my family’s door throughout my childhood, was where I got my start as a summer intern, eventually becoming its top editor. A decade ago, I was still in that job. Over the years, I had hired scores of journalists and, helped by a talented group of editors, had overseen the coverage of everything from the assassination of a local abortion provider to the high cost of being poor in one of the nation’s most impoverished cities. We certainly weren’t perfect, but we did a lot of important work.
My reaction also came from hard knowledge of what has happened elsewhere.
When Alden buys a paper, the results are unfailingly negative for the community. It had already happened in Denver, San Jose and a multitude of other places. Alden slashes newsroom staffs, sells off its real estate and focuses on wringing out the last possible drop of revenue while ignoring long-term sustainability, hence earning the name “vulture capitalists.” I knew this from years of covering the news media and from writing a book about the dire effects on our democracy when local news declines. In short, we become more politically polarized and less engaged in our communities.
Democracy itself is suffering as local news fades. The renowned Yale historian Timothy Snyder, who wrote “On Tyranny,” describes this as the most troubling media story of our time, a major contributor to the loss of a common basis of reality that’s necessary for successful self-governance.
What happens to society — and our democracy — when community and regional journalism dries up
The Buffalo News has been relatively stable under its current owner, Lee Enterprises, especially compared with other papers around the country.
Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway owned the News while I was there, got out of the newspaper business in recent years by selling his dozens of papers to Lee. In 2018, he praised the company as one that “has led the industry in overall innovation and performance, all while faithfully fulfilling its public trust.”
Our newsroom employed about 200 people for several decades; after a long, slow decline, it’s down to about 80. And yet, digital subscriptions have increased, and the staffers I’ve talked to believe the paper continues to be profitable, though not nearly at the sky-high levels of the 1990s. The Buffalo News still has a strong local staff and fine reporters in Washington and Albany. It has even done some hiring and right now has several job openings for reporters.
So the notion that the main news source for my hometown might be destroyed was gutting. So was the flurry of texts and phone calls from News staffers who were afraid for their livelihoods and hoped that I might have some insight or reassurance. I didn’t have much to offer.
But in the weeks since the Alden announcement, some hope has emerged. First, and most important, the Lee board of directors soundly rejected Alden’s bid for its 90-some papers across 26 states, and used a defensive maneuver to block Alden’s efforts to take control of its board.
That hardly resolves the situation, though — and in the meantime, Alden is now fighting back in court, suing Lee and calling its defensive move improper. It may just be that Lee is holding out for a higher offer from Alden. As one of my Post colleagues darkly predicted, we still know what’s going to happen in the end; all that’s really happening now is haggling over the price.
Heath Freeman is the hedge fund guy who says he wants to save local news. Somehow, no one’s buying it.
The second bit of encouragement is that Lee’s stock price has risen sharply over the past week, a development that to Rick Edmonds, media business analyst at the Poynter Institute, suggests “that Lee can remain independent and pursue its growth plans.”
I’d love to believe that. What I do believe is that local news organizations, including legacy newspapers like the Buffalo News, can survive in the new era if they behave strategically and wisely. They have to continue to move steadily into the digital present and future, while deepening the bonds with their communities and not alienating their loyal longtime readers. One absolute necessity is providing enterprising journalism that serves the public interest — something that is impossible without adequate staff and resources.
“There will be no return to the good old days of fat profits and large newsrooms,” wrote Jim Heaney, a former News investigative reporter who runs a Buffalo-based nonprofit news organization. Buffalo is fortunate to have a public radio station, four television stations that cover local news and Heaney’s Investigative Post, in addition to the Buffalo News, which remains a reasonably robust if much smaller news source than before.
I agree with Heaney’s assessment, and at the same time, I believe there is a path forward. But that path must exclude any hedge fund owner demanding unreasonably high profits and wanting them immediately.
Newspapers in Boston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and other cities with forward-thinking owners, most of them rooted in the local community, are finding their way forward. My old paper might be able to do that, too — but not under Alden.
The immediate disaster has been averted, and these new developments offer a reprieve.
I fervently hope that Lee’s directors, no doubt still influenced by Buffett, will continue to do the right thing. They have the power to give their newspapers a chance to survive and even — just possibly — to thrive.
READ MORE by Margaret Sullivan:
Believe it or not, Fox News once knew shame
Why Chris Cuomo’s ‘family first’ defense just doesn’t fly
‘More immediate, more visceral’ and a lot tougher on Eric Clapton: A plan for reviving Rolling Stone
For more by Margaret Sullivan visit wapo.st/sullivan
The most important news stories of the day, curated by Post editors and delivered every morning.
By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

source

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Business

Top 5 Best Facebook Video Downloader for Android.

Published

on

You can download videos from Facebook with different video downloaders. You can use a computer or laptop to download the video. All you have to do is enter the link, which will download. A robust Facebook video downloader is required for android phones and tablets.

Facebook Video Downloader

You will also find many Facebook video downloading apps for Android devices, just like you can download Facebook videos to your desktop computer or laptop. The video downloader android will allow you to instantly download any Facebook video from your Android smartphone or tablet.

This Facebook guide will share the top and most downloaded Facebook video downloaders for Android.

Top 5 Android Facebook Video Downloaders

You can download any Facebook video using some Facebook video downloader apps. This guide is for those searching the internet for “how to download Facebook video on android” or “what’s the best Facebook video downloader to download Facebook videos”.

Let’s look at these top 5 best Facebook video downloaders for Android and reap the benefits of a free download of Facebook video.

(1) MyVideoDownloader for Facebook

MyVideodownloader for Facebook makes it easy to download Facebook videos. This android video downloader is compatible with all android smartphones and tablets. The best quality video downloads will be available because Myvideodownlaoder for Facebook can download all videos high definition.

Just download the MyVideoDownloader app for Android and log in to Facebook. After logging in, you can download any video you wish to save to your phone.

(2) Video Downloader for Facebook

This is an android video downloader that’s free. With a Video downloader for Facebook, you can instantly download all the videos that you want. The video downloader for Android is easy to use.

This app allows you to download videos uploaded by you and those that have been tagged and uploaded by friends. This app also has a section for funny and crazy videos you can download to your mobile phone.

(3) VideoDownloader for Facebook

video downloader is an android video downloader that can also play Facebook videos. This app allows you to view all videos in your profile and then download them. You can search for a video using the keywords you use. Videos posted to Facebook pages and groups can be downloaded.

This video downloader also allows you to upload videos to Facebook. You can download the Facebook video downloader for free from Google Play Store.

(4) Video Download to Facebook

Video Download for Facebook has over 100 000 downloads. This app will show you how to download Facebook videos to your android phone. Video downloader saves all videos from Facebook to its servers. Then you can download them to your phone at the fastest possible downloading speeds.

The Video Download for the Facebook app has an attractive interface that makes it easy to use. Just add the URL to the video and click the Download button.

(5) Video Downloader

Video Downloader by fnxApps is last but not least. Download Facebook video downloader free of cost from the Google Play Store. The video downloader works in the same way as other video downloaders. Just one click is all it takes to download the Facebook videos.

All videos downloaded with this downloader are saved directly to the SD card. Using the sharing options, you can share the videos you have downloaded with friends.

Conclusion

These are the top five Facebook video downloaders to download Facebook videos to your Android tablet or smartphone. You don’t need to use your laptop or computer to download your favourite videos from Facebook.

Many other android apps can be used to download videos from Facebook. Please let us know if you have any suggestions.

Continue Reading

Trending

%d bloggers like this: