Denali, President McKinley, Oliver Sacks, and Newspaper Circulation

President Obama announced the executive branch will officially rename Alaska's Mt. McKinley "Denali," a traditional Alaskan native name. The name-change has been reportedly lobbied for by Alaska's congressional leadership for decades, but it's, predictably, ruffling some feathers.

For reasons I may never fully understand, it's really important to some leaders in Ohio that Denali retain its connection to President McKinley (who was from Ohio). You can always count on Speaker John Boehner to blast a decision from President Obama. He perceives that as his job. But Ohio Senator Rob Portman also got in on the action.

The antics of modern politicians aside, this also serves to remind us about William McKinley, who has the dubious honor of being among our assassinated presidents. Officially, his assassin was the anarchist Leon Czolgosz in 1901. However, this is something of a technicality. McKinley died from gangrene about 9 days after being shot. If anything, it was the lack of modern medicine that killed him. With a few decades of advancement, McKinley could have survived, as Reagan would several presidencies later. 

This weekend seems to have been part of the Rule of Three in celebrity deaths, claiming Wes Craven, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and Dr. Oliver Sacks. Of these three, the one that impacts me the most is Sacks, who wrote a book I highly recommend, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a HatDyer was a favorite of my mom's, though.

I've started building a Feedly category for blogs about journalism, to try to fit with the meta-journalist theme of my career. I hate to kick off my findings with a sad note, but this was the most interesting bit of research I found:

The above chart was plotted by media business analyst Ken Goldstein and included in a recent article by Poynter. This particular set of data indicate Canadian print newspapers are on track to become extinct by about 2025. There may also be "no local broadcast stations in Canada" by that same time period. Poynter's writer, Rick Edmonds, notes that newspapers are trying to stay afloat through paywalls, video and digtal ads, and micro-payments for individual articles (about 20-30 cents per article). 

It'll be interesting to see in ten years whether the dire predictions will have proven true. From my perspective, it seems likely that the organizations responsible for print newspapers will be those affiliated with the largest media companies in the world - including the New York Times Company, Gannett, the Tribune Publishing Company, and - in this recent twist - people like Jeff Bezos, who bought the Washington Post from Graham Holdings company in 2013. 

But smaller media companies and newspaper editors can probably still see circulation numbers climb for their product. They just may have to rely on the mobile app environment. 

I'm going to try to introduce some music into these regular blog posts. Today, I'm going to slip in my favorite alternative song from the past week, and that's "Leave a Trace" from the upcoming album by CHVRCHES. But I found a pretty good artist via NPR's Morning Edition, Adnan Joubran. This music evokes the Middle East, and is pretty good for focusing and writing.