In your vacationmongering Monday media column: Americans just can't get interested in Afghanistan, a systematic approach to the NYT's "Most Emailed" list, Groupon is the future of shitty "journalism" jobs, and a look at the newspaper industry's year.

  • Coverage of the war in Afghanistan made up just 4% of US news coverage this year. Is that really so unexpected, or even unfair? The media's made a pretty concerted effort at getting Americans to care about this war. But Americans just don't care. It's far away, its rationale is too murky for anyone to explain, and it will never end. And it's probably on at the same time as Dancing With the Stars. If the media wants to turn this war into a ratings winner, I only see one solution: take some celebrities over to Afghanistan. And kill them.
  • What does it take to get a story on the New York Times "Most Emailed" list? Twelve hundred emails, a small army of foreign labor, and plenty of time on your hands.
  • Do you want to get into journalism, but can't find a job? Go where they're hiring writers: Groupon! Writing copy for various coupon deals is kind of like journalism, right? Sure. (*bang*)
  • Dylan Stableford takes a good look at how 2010 has panned out for the newspaper industry; in addition to being surpassed by the internet as an ad medium, circulation fell significantly, company valuations fell, and there are no signs that hiring will bounce back any time soon. Newspapers will survive (online, mostly). But the Great Newspaper Age is over.

[Photo: AP]