Wednesday, October 13, 2010



“I sure wish we could get rid of that word ‘content’ to refer to writing, photography, drawing, and design online. The very word breathes indifference—why would one bother about the quality of work when it’s referred to as ‘content’? I’m sorry to respond to your good question with a cranky diatribe, but this word has crept from New Media over to Radio Broadcasting where I live in my little cave and now my Show has become Content and is sent around to stations in a nice digital package that squashes the sound. Public radio, which holds itself up as a believer in quality, is cutting corners on all sides and I see this perfidious word ‘content’ as part of the downward slide. I loathe the word. It’s like referring to Omaha as a ‘development.’”
—Garrison Keillor, radio curmudgeon, in response to a listener question about how he develops “content” for his radio show, “The Prairie Home Companion,” 2009
(Thanks to alert WORDster Tim Harrower)

Editor’s Note: Sort of Twinkie news?

PeezPix: Harvest Time

WRITING PROF WANTED! JCOM @ USU is hiring! A search for a new tenure-track faculty member to focus on the teaching of writing. Revolutionary! See job posting at Utah State University HR or email

NEWS NOTE: 2010 Sundance film 8: The Mormon Proposition, comes to the USU campus next week with Q&A discussion with filmmaker Reed Cowan, a 1997 USU broadcast journalism alumnus. Thursday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m., Eccles Conference Center Auditorium. URL

Today’s WORD on Journalism is now on Facebook! Join up and rant daily! And join USU JCOM Alumni & Friends on FB.


  1. Content. The better to commoditize, financialize, and monetize you with, my dear.

    You, Mister Keillor, are merely filling a bucket, to be passed and parsed among a vast sea of other buckets.

    Here's one more word to contemplate: fungible.

  2. Content- it's a nice catch all word that tells you absolutely nothing about the subject only that there is one. It also hints at the possibility that the user of the word "content" doesn't know anything about the subject.

    I agree I don't like the word either.

    Erica Abbott