But I don't believe for a second that this recent drama is related to craigslist's impact on the news business. The formula here is simple: the news media (and political candidates) likes eyeballs. Eyeballs like stories about sex. It would be professional malpractice for CNN not to run these stories.
And why should I feel sorry for craiglist about that? They walked right into this. Prostitution is illegal throughout almost the entire United States. Without those ads, their service isn't one iota worse for the vast majority of their users who aren't in contact with the sex trade. The adult services section of craiglist is practically a political statement.
Which, fine, but if you make a political statement, you steel yourself to handle the flak you'll get. If you make a political statement that involves flouting the law, you get to deal with law enforcement, too.
I'm not sure... I mean, would San Francisco be San Francisco without Folsom St? I mean, maybe, I guess?
I mean, I think the weirdness we see in San Francisco goes along with the innovative culture we have here.
Now, is the same true of weird sex ads on craigslist and the rest of craigslist? I've really got no evidence either way, but I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand, either.
Why was the iPad over all of their covers? Because they think it's their salvation. Yeah, Jobs is good at PR, and yeah, it's a reasonable cover story, but why was it the cover story?
Why is craigslist the trumped up bogus sex scandal?
One of the many great quotes:
Diana Christensen: I watched your 6 o'clock news today; it's straight tabloid. You had a minute and a half of that lady riding a bike naked in Central Park; on the other hand, you had less than a minute of hard national and international news. It was all sex, scandal, brutal crime, sports, children with incurable diseases, and lost puppies. So, I don't think I'll listen to any protestations of high standards of journalism when you're right down on the streets soliciting audiences like the rest of us. Look, all I'm saying is if you're going to hustle, at least do it right.
Unfortunately for me only a handful of journalists fall into this category and it has literally taken years (mostly by reading their books) that I identified them.
Walter Cronkite actually said on tv "and that is the way it is" once he had delivered the news, but not if he ended the news with an opinion piece.
Now compare this with William Hearst with his "Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I will furnish the war" during the period of yellow journalism.
There aren't really any Hearsts around anymore (though their actual heirs still run the news), and we are properly closer to Conkrite but we are more aware of what is actually going on now than ever - that is why it looks like the news are getting worse.
The economic context from which the statement arose has some similarities to today. Hearst and Pulitzer were competing to grow newspaper circulation. Strangely, Pulitzer appears to escape the bad rap Hearst gets, probably for funding a journalism school and prize.
As people who have an understanding of tech and disruption why aren't we more effective at defending disruptive techs against those who wish to see them tarnished or destroyed? Shouldn't we be doing something?
In that sense, the business principle of it being better to have a few customers who really love you versus many customers who are lukewarm is similar to the political reality that a well-organized but small special interest will run all over the collective good.
There is really a double benefit because part of the way incumbents defend against disrupters is to go after their weakest point. Who is going to vocally defend Craigslist's erotic services section? How many online media enterprises even have a weaker point than that? It is not a coincidence.
Uh? Is it? Is prostitution actually illegal in the US or just streetwalking, or brothels, stuff like that? "Networks"?
(that's not a rhetorical question, i have never heard of any such connection, but i am certainly willing to admit that i am not an expert in that period of history)
But given what i know about the 1st wave feminists and the suffragettes, i'm surprised to hear tell that there was involvement that would be worth mentioning (in the sense of the entire movement) any more than you could claim that all republicans are pro-life, or that all democrats are pro-business.
A similar trend was responsible for the fall of the Spanish Republic in the '30s and the rise of Franco's regime.
While the act of exchanging services for compensation is legal in Ontario, there are laws that criminalize various aspects of running a prostitution business: Solicitation, living off the avails of prostitution, keeping a common bawdy house, and so forth.
We have our own similar debate: Various printed "free" papers include big sections of erotic services classifieds, and there has been much argument as to whether the laws against solicitation really apply to advertising.
One argument is that the laws against solicitation were written up to prevent streetwalking, and classifieds help take prostitutes off the street, so they are actually a public good.
Again, this is my understanding of the situation in Ontario, and I present the argument in favour of classifieds purely for the sake of promoting discussion.
The part about everyone hating Newmark and his work because "He doesn’t do it to get rich" and because he is a disruptor who kills classified ad revenues is amusing.
All the recent hoopla is over a CNN interview and afaik little or none of CNN's ad revenues are threatened by Craig's List. My understanding is that Newmark has made tens of millions of dollars and it is absurd to suggest that journalists would go easier on him if he made even more money to qualify as "rich" in the writer's dictionary.
 Interesting to see my comment downvoted to zero and a response saying that "The same people that own the TV news own the newspapers".
Can anyone tell us which newspaper is owned by CNN or the people who own CNN ?
[edit 2] The downvoting trend is amusing. A short while ago, my comment was at 4, now it is at -1. I see one more response and this one says that Time Warner owns magazines.
Right, so Time Warner owns some magazines, but NO NEWSPAPERS, Craig's List has hurt newspaper ad revenues , Newmark has only earned 10s of millions of dollars and isn't "rich" by the writer's standards ....and because of all this, a whole lot of downvoters seem to believe that CNN shouldn't ask any questions about Craig's List sex trafficking This is funny
As far as hurting newspapers goes, don't measure it by what Craigslist takes in. Some of the would-be paying newsprint advertisers are getting exposure on Craigslist for free, and of course papers still see that as damaging.
The media is not very friendly towards entities that don't buy advertising and take away ad dollars of or compete with operations that do. Note how little mention Ubuntu gets at release time, or when Windows malware hits, even though it would help many readers/viewers.
News outlets seem to like stories like sex scandals in general... remember how much attention they gave Michael Jackson. Even jury selection swamped out some other stories that actually mattered. Here's one of the stories I saw no mention of locally during jury selection:
Another subsidiary of Time Warner. Though, you're right. Those are mostly periodicals and not newspapers specifically. My mistake.