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Goodbye to newspapers?


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And reading some of the great critics from the heyday of print, you were still getting something more. Deep knowledge, a new way of seeing, context, judgement, love of the art form, wonderful writing. I'm glad we have this forum, but I think it's tragic that people can't get paid to deliver criticism on that level any more (the firing of Tobi Tobias, the skin-deep coverage of the NY Times—I'm glad they do it, but it doesn't provide many new insights for the aficionado).

Thank you for chiming in, beck_hen. I think you’re getting close to the heart of the matter. Edwin Denby wrote much of his stuff for dailies. And I enjoy reading Tobi Tobias online, but it’s a crying shame that she’s not doing her stuff for a general interest print publication.

It’s off topic, but I thought I’d plug another favorite paper of mine, The Christian Science Monitor. It’s available online, but if you have a Reading Room nearby, stop by and pick up a print copy. They appreciate it!

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The London writer came closest I think to the problem --

Newspapers have stopped giving us the news. And though they're "hemorraging money," well, that's only one point of view; if their ceo's didn't expect profit margins of 15 per cent (a newfangledness), they wouldn't be having to get rid of all their reporters (which is the substance of the LA Times story -- "not being a team player" was how the Chicago owners characterized the faults of the editor of their LA subsidiary, but what he didn't want to do was have to get rid of the people who'd find out what was going on and write it up).

SO the papers are arguing that they need to run more soft features, because "that's what young readers want" -- but they MAY be arguing backwards to cover up the fact that they're not telling readers, young or old, anything interesting -- which is a PRIMARY reason for loss of interest, and readership. WHy buy a paper that "slides knotless through the mind"?

My local metro daily is running a disgusting series on suicides off the Golden Gate Bridge -- front page -- that never once goes into why any of these people jumped. EVERY ONE is treated in circumstantial detail, what hte neighbors thought, where they liked to eat, take yoga, etc, a lot of tasty details, and no insight. The whole point seems to be to avoid insight, as if of course, there's no explaining why anybody could do such an unthinkable thing (of course, any claim t insight might have a non-soporific effect, indeed, might make some reader hot under hte collar, somebody indeed might SUE.) It's revolting, pointless and revolting.

The papers I've come to trust the most are the conservative ones -- not that I don't have to allow for their bias, but look -- it's now the FT and the WSJ, like the old Herald Trib, which published Denby) which will tell you what the people who know the most think is going on.

And NB in particular, in our field, look how much better Robert Greskovic's coverage in the WSJ is than the Times's.

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