Mystery woman

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Spent a good bit of Sunday trading e-mails with Myrna the Minx. Do you know of Myrna? She runs one of Reno’s more popular blogs, Reno and Its Discontents, The blog covers a lot of ground—arts, civic improvement, politics, media—pretty much anything you or I’d be interested in reading. I’ve got an RSS feed from it to my Google homepage. She’s one of those anonymous bloggers so you can’t tell if she’s a man or a woman—but I think her anonymity may be part of her charm and relative success.

Our exchange started with a comment about her post regarding Mike Lafferty’s recent column, “The answer is blowing in the wind.”

I’m going to give Myrna the same accommodation she’s giving me and not publish the content of our e-mails, but suffice it to say, she led me down some unusual primrose paths of thought.

One of the last things we discussed touched on the nature of competition among media. It’s interesting. I’ve been asked before if I consider the Reno Gazette-Journal our competition. I don’t. The fact is, back in the good old days of journalism, there was competition among newspaper journalists for content. I don’t see it much now. Near as I can tell, most reporters do their best with the resources given to them by the business office. There’s a smorgasbord of news media out there, and people who limit their media consumption to one or three or 14 sources are only limiting themselves and their understanding of the world.

There is competition among media sources, but it’s not for who can put out the highest quality newspaper or newscast or podcast or blog. It’s for advertising dollars. Isn’t that weird? I’m not going to put a bushel over anyone else’s lantern, but do you think that the sources that drag in the huge advertising dollars provide superior content over those people who do their journalism out of love with no expectation of ever getting the big bucks? I don’t know, I’m just asking.