Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


Stop the presses

¬†Another friend has let me know that his newspaper has let him go. I’m trying to think of what friends are still employed by newspapers, and no one is coming to mind. Will the last one out please turn off the printing presses?
The newspaper companies will tell you they’re getting slammed by technology — which is true — but it doesn’t answer two big questions:¬† 1) where’s all the money from the 50+ years when their annual profits were double or quadruple almost any other industry; and 2) how is it that they’ve lost their companies to a guy named Craig working out of his house in San Francisco? I know I’ve already blogged about this, but these questions merit repeating. Newspaper owners (and publishers) have been remarkably old-fashioned, short-sighted, blinkered, greedy, and rapacious. The truly sad thing is that we count on newspapers for almost all the real reporting, but then again, look how well they handled that little thing in Iraq, and whatever that was that happened with economic, um, shifts. Good reporting. Thanks for the heads-up there.

My anger toward these people is clearly the anger of a wounded romantic:  someone who loves newspapers whose heart sinks further day by day while his blood pressure rises.

And no, I still haven’t been able to bring myself to cancel the Los Angeles Times. I know, I know, I promised. And no, I don’t want to help Sam Zell make his mortgage payments. My inaction is not about the Times; it’s about me. After 30+ years of reading newspapers (or writing for them), it’s a difficult relationship to end. Cue the song: “Never Can Say Goodbye.”

One Response to “Stop the presses”

  1. Paul Crist Says:

    Another sad development in newspapers comes from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

    They have merged their Sunday comics into the weekly TV magazine. It’s still in color but the comics are smaller than in a daily newspaper and sort of shoe horned into the allotted space.

    I don’t like it.

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