A tribute to and a lament for Marshall McLuhan continues. If he had lived Marshall would have been 100 on July 21, 2011. Join me in the countdown to his centennial, and an exploration of more of his observations on the way media work in the electric age in which we live.

What’s the good news?

Marshall McLuhan (1965, age 54).  Dear Diary:

Someone from the New York Times called.  Asked me what I thought of the quality of newspapers.  I told him that “the ads are by far the best part of any … newspaper.”  In fact there’s just one thing wrong with them, the ads I mean, not newspapers.  Ads only deal with good news.  By themselves ads won’t work.  The newspapers’ job is to provide enough bad news to sell the good news.

Me (December, 2010, age 58).  For your approval:

Good news crying out for bad.  This is an idea we have met before in this blog.  But as a glance through Understanding Media reveals, McLuhan thought a good idea is worth repeating.  A question, as McLuhan would say, for your information, and mine.  How did advertisers sell the good news on TV?


Cordially, Marshall and Me



See McLuhan’s obituary in the New York Times, January 1, 1981.  (“on the web”)

Tags: ,

Michael Hinton Thursday, December 16th, 2010
Permalink 1950s and 60s, Communication No Comments

Leave a Reply