F SUNDAY 11.06.2005 baltimoresun.com/ideas
T R E N D S • BOOI PUBLIC EDITOR // HARD HEADLINE CHOICES PG 2
AT LONG LAST? PROFILE //
Liber it! ri voters promised a fair election on DR. SOLOMON SNYDER
the eve of Tuesday's presidential runoff.
>»>PG2F * * * EXTRA
Don's Keams Goodwin's tale reads well but
»» PC 4F
BY THE NUMBERS
The federal government has been borrowing
and spending at a record pace in recent years.
Dr. Solomon Snyder believes scientific and artistic
Some experts say this trend is moving Ihe nation
pursuits are closely related.
i nto dangerous waters, but others are relatively MONICA LOPOSSAT [SLINI'MtJKJGHAI'HFK]
unconcerned. Here is a look al both arguments.
Th* federal budget h» dropped
dramatically Into deficit in recent yaws
Federal deficit* and turplu ic i, in billion:
1999 2000 Media technologies still in their
im White H«» OMB, F«bru»r» 2005
infancy are gaining fast on
THese deRcKi are funded with borrowed
money, which hcruses our ration*! debt
U5. national debt, in bilboM
traditional newspapers. The future
for print looks bleak — unless the
industry can transform itself.
When Dr. Solomon Snyder isnt
unlocking the brain's secrets —
BY ANDREW RATNER u
like how drug addiction occurs
ewton N. Minow says he faaj seen every side of the media elephant. — you can find him playing
1990 1995 2000
Drf* (ram Wtv!. Ham. OMB, F.bnury 2005
As of Oct. 31 the national debt was:
N He's been a board director of Tribune Co., which owns this newspaper.
He chaired the Rand Corp. as it helped develop the Internet —and says,
"we didnl understand what it was all about at the time.* He was a direc-
tor of CBS-TV and chaired the Public Broadcasting System. Most famous-
ly, he was head of the Federal Communications Commission when he told a
gathering of broadcasters in 1961 that television was a "vast wasteland"
The producer of Gifflgon's blond was so incensed, he named the shipwrecked
classical guitar or collecting
art. Now the chairman of
neuroscience department is
$8,027,123,404,214.36 boat In his TV comedy after Minow. But MlnoWs assessment, at a time when preparing to step down.
Americans were transfixed by the new, glowing cube in their living rooms, was
prescient. So when he frets about the future of newspapers as we know them, BY JONATHAN BOH [™:i IEFOITENJ
Each eillien'sihareofthB debt Is: 11* worth taking notice.
$27,041.44 •Where it all ends up nobody major media companies as meas-
knows, but print, in my opinion, is ured by Morton Research Inc. ost great discoveries start with great
nut going to recover. I think we know climbed to nearly 20 percent last Ideal. And few people in biomedlcal sci-
Deficit spending could push that," Minow said recently, speaking year — more than double the aver- ence have hatched as many great ideas
from his law office in Washington. age profit margin of the Fortune 500. as Dr. Solomon Snyder, who will soon step down
2015 CBOotimale Private estimate"
•When the Senate was holding hear- But that's only one piece of the as chief of the Johns Hopkins University neuro-
ings about Judge Roberts,!! seems to story. sdence department he created 25 years ago.
Publicly held debt SSJWIEw ilOAtriUion me the most important questions [Please ue MEDIA, page 6F] Perhaps more than anyone else in the last
Public debt U X
they should have been asking were quarter-century, Snyder opened up the world of
otgrou domestic 28.8X S3.9X
about the role of technology in the communication that exists in the tiny space —
next 25 years." called the synapse — where messages travel
Minuw's Judgment might seem from one brain cell to the next
' ElteutefromCoogreuio™! Budget Offio, odd when profits are considered. As By studying the neurotransmltters that cany
the Columbia Journalism Review those messages and the proteins that receive
noted In an editorial agonizing over them, he helped explain how the brain directs
the future of newspapers last week, sensations, movement and thought — and
growing ctsti ol crtitlcnwit program «fcw*nj«J upnl the weighted average of profit mar- what lies at the basis of drug addiction and
gins for the newspaper divisions of mental illness.
His discoveries have helped explain how drugs
Foreign investors could slop lending used to treat schizophrenia, depression and
other mental diseases work. Perhaps more
Top three foreign lenders at ol June 2004, in billion; Important is what many In the field predict will
Japan _ happen in the next quarter-century: the cre-
ation of new drugs that will target the brain
processes that Snyder and his colleagues have
•For both the psychiatric and neurologic dis-
United Kingdom eases, I think the next couple decades are going
to be the ones for really targeted therapies,"
said DC Anne Young, a former Snyder under-
Some Hopeful Thoughts...
study who has since become chief of neurology
at the prestigious Massachusetts General
• The national debt an'l thai big when measured ai Hospital. 'I dont think it would be possible
a percentage ol grois domejlie produd. a Ley without the work he's done-
IK indicator. Ask Snyder where he gets his ideas, and get
ready for an unlikely answer.
The best way to have good ideas is to try not
Gross National Debt to have them," said Snyder, 66, a slight man who
MOK speaks softly but with precise, carefully chosen
O Intragovermnentdebl words. "One way to do that Is to be interested m
Debt held by the public everything."
"Everything' may be an overstatement but it
is close. He keeps abreast of the top medical
journals but is just as likely lo become Intrigued
with developments outside his field as within.
He's a past president of Beth Am synagogue and
chants from the Torah. He collects art, sits on
the board of the Baltimore Symphony
•40 -50 '60 70 '80 -90 '00'CM
Orchestra and leads a committee that helps
choose the BSO's repertoire and commissions
Higher economic growth He plays classical guitar so well that as a
Could art Ihe we at Ihe debt,« higher ta» receipt nan teenager he seriously considered becoming a
Ihe budget doser to balance or even wrplus. musician rather than a scientist. He adores folk
We have grown ouraeH-ei out oliubrtanlial debt (rouble music and tunes from the American songbook,
before moil recently in the 1°90i and can do it again. and has recently discovered a knack for com-
posing funny songs for his three grandchildren.
"It's all part of creativity," Snyder said.
"Getting ideas for doing experiments is like
composing a symphony. You're always testing
[Please see SNYDER, page 3FJ
T R O Y M C C U L L O U G H O N B L O G S V I E W F 1 N D E R / A C H I E V E R S 3F
6F SUNDAY 11.06.2005
A llrrllNv^rUlm rUKAntKIOANNtWbPAPcRS
Gross domestic product, retail sales and newspaper advertising revenues tracked together until 2000,* when the pace of growth in ad revenues dropped away.
he tint quarter ol 1995-100.
Yesterday's news, tomorrow's challenges few employees struggling to open and record the
mall sacks of checks rolling in.
As described in the 2002 book The Perfect Store, the
former Times Mirror Corp. probably could have had
eBay for $40 million then, but the newspaper exec-
/From page IF] utives declined to make an offer, mystified about
CAN YOD HFARTvlFNOW? how to value a business that owned no trucks,
Newspaper readership has been In decline for The current Internet media revolution re (led! breakthroughs and conflicts In the early days of radio. A look: buildings or inventory. By spring 2000, when
years, and the pace of decline Is accelerating, Tribune Co. bought Times Mirror for IS billion In
according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation. the nation's largest newspaper merger, eBay's mar
Advertising revenues are stagnant, and newspaper INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DISPUTES ket capitalization was double that. It now generates
profits and stock prices are being propped up by 1952 // On KL1F in Dallas, Gordon 2001 // Nailer, begun by college $45 billion In annual sales.
cost cutting and stock buybacks. McLcndon, right, recreate! student Shawn Fanning, is one ol several "We've all heard that in every Industry there are
Angst about the future or newspapers has swirled broadcasts ol Major League BascbaP services lhat enables line swapping of folks who say, 'It'll never happen. It's a lark. It* a
for a long time, but concerns gained strength this games. A huge appetite lor the games music lilcs on ihc Internet After the bunch of geeks.' Kbu heard every permutation,"
fall after a succession of job cuts at several large, exists In the west, with no team beyond rccoring industry brings suit, the federal recalls Del Vecchlo, from his New Hampshire com-
respected publications, including The New York St Louis, but the league sues court orders Napster shut down. pany, CineQuesLcom. "The biggest obstacle Is trying
Times, The Boston Globe, Tlie Philadelphia Inquirer McLcndon for pirating the content to force every new thing into a traditional bureau-
and U.S. News & World Report and his operation goes bankrupt cracy. The guy at General Motors whose big money
Last week, three large Institutional investors that, Is due to making big cars, he's going to spend time
together, hold more than 36 percent of the stock oT PUBLIC DEFENSE each day thinking about how to put himself out ol
Knlght-Ridder, one of the nation's largest newspaper work? It doesn't work that way. The people In charge
chains, expressed dissatisfaction with the price of 1937 //As a nominee for the 2004-O5 // Michael Jackson of new ventures are really invested in the old ven-
that company's stock. They suggested that a sale Supreme Court. Hugo Black, right, and Martha Stewart appeal tures"
might be necessary far Knight Rldder shareholders uses radio to dclcnd himself against diredtytolhcirlansthroughthcir | Historians even have a term for it — "technologi-
to realize a fair return on their Investments. criticism ol his earlier membership in Web sites before their separate cal momentum." From cars to personal computers,
The three — Private Capital Management, South- Ihc&iKkmKlan. and widely followed criminal trials. the powers that be have rarely produced the break-
eastern Asset Management and Harris Associates throughs that alter behavior and the marketplace.
IP — sent letters to the Knight Ridder board of BREAKING SEXUAL BOUNDARIES More often than not, they try to impede them polit-
directors urging talks. 1937 // AHerMaeVfcst.rignt.asla 2003 //AsexvtdcoolParisHilton, ically.
The 'board takes its fiduciary duties seriously and Crarfic McCarthy "Why don't you come right, with her then-boyfriend "large organizations tend to favor inventions thai
will respond In due course," said Knight Bidder up and play in my woodpile;" and later circulates on the Interne! and vaults the improve the existing product line," said Thomas P.
trades sexual innuendo with Don Amcchc hold heiress into a pop culture star Hughes, a renowned sociologist at the University of
Industry analysts said the Knight Ridder investors on Ihc OajcflndSanDomHbur, clergy with TV shows and commercials. Pennsylvania who Is credited with defining the con-
are triggering a showdown that could test the value and federal regulators arc outraged. cept. They're reluctant to adopt a new technology
of local media, where newspapers still dominate. that completely changes the market.'
While investors fret, the traditional media's self- FUNDRAISING From Thomas Samuel Kuhn, who popularized the
image Is Increasingly shaped through blogs and concept of "paradigm shifts," to the urban planner
1944 // In round-the-clock 2003 // Howard Dean's presidential
Web sites — pieces of the new media that they Lewis Mumford, futurists and historians have long
appeals on CBS radio, Kale Smith campaign is astonishingly cllcdivc at
worry about. Dire signs appear so doubtless, gallows studied the patterns by which one device succumbs
helpsraisemore than 5600 raising money online, generating £75 to another. But even the best in the field acknowl-
humor has set fit The Society for News Design
million in bonds !o finance the war. million in the second quarter of 2003, | edge that predictions about technological revolu-
Included 3-D glasses In Its recent journal about twice what he had previously raised,
ideas for survival. tion are often wrong.
and propelling the Internet as a force For every business or industry that died because It
Radio and television, print's old challengers, are
in political fund raising. couldn't adjust and compete with new technology
facing their own struggles and are trying to reinvent
themselves in satellite and high-definition form. or a better product Is another that somehow defied
Traditional broadcast television viewershlp is SEARCH ENGINES common wisdom. TV didn't kill radio. The tele-
down, and so are advertising revenues, as the age of 1994-96 //Yahooand phone didn't slow the use of mail service. We are
the typical viewer moves up and out of the desir- with host Clilton Fadiman, Googferiseasseparatoprojccts ^fKHOOf deep In more paper, not less, in the computer era.
able young-adult demographic zone. right, becomes a hit on otgraduale students at Stanford * While print's days might seem numbered, even
Broadcast radio ratings and profits also have been radio, with people sitting al University Jerry Yang and David (*fr Tlff*> the greatest of visionaries can be wildly off in pre-
sharply lower in recent quarters as growing num- a table answering trivia FSobegina-GuidetolheVvbrld VjOfJglC
dicting the impact of technology, orville Wright pro-
bers of listeners turn to satellite radio and catch questions sent In by Wide Vfcb" lo keep track ol their
jected In 1917 that aviation would make warfare
their entertainment and news on iPods and cell obsolete because the ability to see from the sky
listeners. Imitators such as favorite Web sites and later name it >ahoo, short for Tel
phones. Cable television, satellite radio, DVD movies, AnothcrHicrarchical Ollidous Oracle." Google cvofvcs
would negate surprise attacks, Richard Rhodes
So fcuTMift ten/Glow
video games and the Internet are all diverting recounted In his 1999 book Visions of Technology.
Music? and TnaQuura/s from a technology caBcd BackRub that leads users to
younger viewers away from their favorite sitcoms. Polaroid Inventor Edwin Land foresaw a postwar
follow. "back links* olV&b sites, begun by Larry Rsge and Sonjey
Most threatening for traditional media companies technological economy that would eradicate urban
Bn^ a Urevcrsfty of Maryland undcrgrad. Their company
long-term Is an array of huge and well-financed slums that had festered since Dickens. And some
name is a play on the malhcrtaljcs term "googoT lor ihc
companies in telecommunications and technology embraced radio In the 1920s as the deliverer of
numeral 1followedby 100 zeros. International understanding, world peace and the
with radically different approaches to news and
information. remedy to, of all things, political demagoguery.
The Wall street Journal suggested last week that SLOGGING The most powerful effects are usually the unin-
new media companies with local designs — includ- 1934 //Wilh unsold lime Infill, radio 1999 //Internet sites like
tended consequences," said Rhodes, who won the
ing Yahoo, Google or eBay—might be interested in companies provide lime for dramatic Bloggers and Groksoup allow
Pulitzer Prize In 1988 for his writing on nuclear
Knight Ridder. Yahoo 'has moved increasingly into people to create W:b logs -
weapons — perhaps the cause of the greatest of all
programs to be put on by the NBC
original content and would like to develop its local unintended consequences, he said, because their
Rad« Guild, Columbia Workshop and "blogs" — lo include writings and
reach," said the paper. 'Meanwhile, Google Inc. has awesome might curtailed world-scale wan
others. Their cutting-edge dramas, links to other sllc-,. Thousands of ' ~
expressed interest in entering the classified-ad mar- He anticipates that within a decade people will
typically heard by small audiences, such journals sprout - some professionally managed and
ket, where newspapers have deep relationships and have portable "roll-up" computer sheets able to
lade as radio becomes big business. widely read, some obscure and very personal diaries.
continue to play a dominant role." receive news — and will have lost all privacy with-
Yahoo recently hired a war correspondent to in two decades as the Internet's ability to mine data
describe his visits to the world's military 'hot spots" PAID OR FREE such as medical records Increases.
on its Web site and promoted it like a Via Diesel 1922 // Nearly 30 years alter the birth 1995 //SlalcandSalonemerge Online newspapers will become more transparent
action movie. ol radio, Ihc phone company AT&T — and compelling — by increasingly showing how
Sprint-Nextel is promoting itself as an entertain- creates WEAF, the first radio station they researched a story, including posting original
ment platform, not just a phone network. Last established for the purpose of sdting lime Jownal is the first printed paper to documents and not Just presenting the final prod-
week, it joined with cable giant Comcast, Time lo advertisers. crcale a successful paid mode! for the Interne!. uct, he said. The newspaper's bade structure, to go
Warner Cable, Cox and Advance/Newhouse to out there and dig out the stun; Is what people will
announce a Joint venture to develop technologies FEMALE PIONEERS always need"
that would enable cable subscribers to use cell 1941 // Mary Margaret McBride. right, 2003 // A political blog begun by Ana
Newspapers will have to find a way to transform
phones to watch live TV shows, program digital a veteran journalist and author, Marie Cox, right, under the pen name
their business model, and staffing, over time from
video recorders, and check home e-mail. convenes writers, politicians and Wonkette becomes a gossipy but much-
print to online. Internet advertising doesnt pro-
EBay, the online auction phenomenon, bought an duce nearly as much revenue as print, but the prof-
celebrities in a popular talk show that quoted political journal in Washington.
Internet telephony service in Europe. Phone giant it margins can be higher, said John Morton, the well-
explores issues ol the day. known newspaper analyst who runs Morton
Verizon Is offering cable TV, and Comcast and oth-
ers are preparing cell phone service that combines Research Inc. In Silver Spring.
SOUHD EFFECTS FOR A NEW AGE "Never underestimate an industry that's been
Internet and TV—all growing markets for advertis-
ing and news. Perhaps the iPod will someday deliv- 1940//The squeaky opening ol a 1998 // AOli chimoy "You've Gol around for 400 years," said Pablo I Boczkowskl, a
er news and cook dinner hall closet becomes a national Mail' greets people logging onto the Northwestern University professor and author of
Newspapers continue to hold significant advan- institution „„ the Fibber McGeesnd Internet and inspires a 1lit movie Digitizing the NEWS, this year's top book prize winner
tages. When the number of eyes on newspaper Maty show, right. starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. from the scholarly International Communication
Internet news sites Is added to the number of tradi- Association. "Predictions tend to be wrong for the
tional newspaper readers, effective readership DISASTER STRIKES most part because the weight of the present context
looms over other media. But, thus far, Internet 1941 //The day alter someone al 2001 // The Internet comes of agi Is too strong, and many of the most interesting and
advertising provides newspapers with only a frac- NBCs Honolulu affiliate alter terrorists crash jets into the
appealing trends are totally unforeseen."
tion of the ad revenue they receive from advertisers announces This is no jokd This b Wodd Trade Center, the Ftnlagon
•People assume that new media replace, when
in the actual paper. warl" record audiences tune In to and a Pennsylvania field. Millions
they more often than not displace, old media," said
Still, with nearly SSO billion in advertising rev- James L. Baughman, a mass communications pro-
President Franklin Q Roosevelt's search for news and laved ones on
enue, newspapers make up the second-biggest the medium that now reaches i
fessor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
message to Congress alter Japan's
±unk of the S260 billion U.S. advertising market, "Life magazine circulation Initially went up after tel-
attack on FtaH Harbor. than hall the nation's households.
alter direct mail But the diverging trend lines are evision. It wasn't until the late 1960s that Life began
no secret: While newspaper advertising has grown a [SUN HEWS GRAPHIC] 5 to lose readers. Newspapers were not initially affect-
by a meager 10 percent since 1997, Internet adver- ed by radio or television. A lot of things we do
tising — though still a fraction of ad spending — ket research. people communicate. expect to happen don't"
has mushroomed tenfold to more than sio billion. The Internet has stolen readers, goes the i In one sense, the newspaper companies are in a But if an obituary for newspapers Is premature,
Cable TV advertising also doubled during that span, BUS, and yet the medium is an infant that's only predicament akin to that of General Motors and the signs of 111 health — not just short-term meas-
to about $20 billion. begun to flex Its news muscles. 'Pam Anderson," Ford, United and Northwest, the very companies ures of profit and circulation, but more structural
A Toronto media consultant, Kubas, pinpointed "Pokemon" and "Britney Spears" top the list of whose troubles have dominated their business weaknesses — cant be dismissed. It's not just that
print's Waterloo as the spring of 2000, the peak of most-searched terms since 1995, a reflection of a pages in recent years: It's not that people have young people have drifted off; patterns or life have
the dot-corn stock boom. That's when US. newspa- medium that's mostly been about entertainment stopped consuming news, just as they haven't evolved to the detriment of newspapers just as they
per ad revenues stopped tracking with the growth and commerce during its first decade as a commer- stopped buying cars or flying in planes. Far from it did for the 6 pan. network newscasts.
if national retail sales and gross domestic product cial network. The Internet, which added more Web It's that the so-called legacy companies grew large Last week, NBC announced that its evening news-
md began to resemble the flight of a wounded sites this year, 17.5 million, than during the height of in a different era and cant easily escape its econom- cast, once the network's most influential and prof-
cluck. the dot-corn craze, is beginning to become more ic and social assumptions. itable news show, would be posted on Its Web site,
Since then, newspapers have been hurt by the two The number or smart people who left the news- available at any hour anywhere.
ieflning Ws of our age: Wal-Mart, which spends lit- The marketing world, too, has only begun to paper Industry In the past 10 years is legion. They The afternoon newspaper—more dominant than
de on newspaper ads, grew at the expense of adjust. Consumers generally spend as much time could not take banging their heads against the morning papers by circulation until about 25 years
department stores, a major print client. And the on the Internet—counting the time they spend on Industry any more. The decision-making structure ago and by sheer number of publications until just
Web helped erode newspaper classified advertising, it at work — as they do watching TV each day, yet Is not set up In a way that can react to change,* said a few years ago — mostly stopped working In a
which plummeted to $44 billion in 2002 from J8.7 companies still spend six times as much advertising Mark Del Vecchlo, a former wire-service reporter world of two-Income households, long suburban
billion in 2000 as the job market chilled, Kubas said. on TV as online, analyst Charlene LI pointed out In who now runs a Web site that deals in movie mem- commutes and the service economy's longer hours.
Newspapers are becoming less of a habit for peo- a recent report for Forrester Research Inc. of orabilia. Now, families have less time to read in the morning
ple for a wide range of reasons, some sociological, Cambridge. That will change, especially with new Del Vecdiin, who covered the Tiananmen Square too.
some self-inflicted. On any given day, more adults services that improve advertisers' ability to monitor massacre In China for United Press International It would be Ironic (or maybe explanatory) that the
are still more likely to read a newspaper — about their return on all ad spending. and became the first editor for the Web site of'Jlie Information Age has been less kind to newspapers
110 million — than use the Internet — 75 million. What might be most threatening to the tradition- Hartford Cburant, had tried In 1997 to persuade the than the Industrial Age. People say they no longer
But again, the trend lines ore bleak: Newspaper al media Is that their risk-adverse managers are previous owner of the Couranr (and of The Sun) to have time for the product, but the length of the day
readership has fallen by one-third during the past about to go up against Innovative and global players buy then-little-known eBay. He had stumbled across is the same as ever.
W years and faster—by roughly one-half— among who aren't invested In the old models and who have the Internet auction site In his movie-collecting
mime adults face 25-W accnrdlne to various mar- alreadvmadeeobsormonevtnirisrormlne the wav hobhv. He and a colleaeue visited eBav and found Its a n drc w.rat ne r@ baltsu rtco m