Thursday, December 30, 2004

Newspapers suck ass, anyway.

I'm no tech savant, not by any stretch, but for a long time I have kept my brain working in a couple of ways. I love to read, and when I was a full-time-at-home mommy to a grade-school-aged son with autism and two baby girls in diapers, I would read the daily newspaper almost in its entirety every day. I would watch the network news daily. I would listen to radio news updates often. When I had time, I would check online for up to date information.

What would bug me occasionally is when I'd hear of something on the evening news, for example, and then after the kids were in bed I'd get a chance to go online hoping to find some updates. The next morning I'd look forward to getting the newspaper & a chance to read it while the kids ate their lunch- maybe there'd be some more in depth reporting of whatever event I was following.

As often as not, the morning paper would have pretty much what I'd read online after 9pm the night before. The last time the daily that I read in my town had anything interesting, it was when they published a huge excerpt from the Starr report. Yeah, it was a long time ago in newspaper time.

Lately, the paper has had more stupid errors than I've ever noticed before. Stories that have parts missing, the whole ending chopped off & nowhere to be found in the print version. Spelling, grammar and usage errors (my personal pet peeve). Directions to the continuation of a story that are wrong- maybe it's on page 10, maybe it's not, either way good luck finding it!

It almost feels like they're not really trying all that hard anymore to put out a decent print paper everyday. Cut & paste a few stories from the wire services, poorly edit a few stories from local sources, continually mess around with the layout of inner sections, improvements they say, messing around with layout to cover up the lack of substance I say, allow a couple of whiny columnists to piss & complain about pretty much the majority of their own readership & anbody who dares to put out an alternative to their print whining.

I linked to Powerline. In a recent Minneapolis StarTribune edition, one of their columnists printed a whole column pissing & whining about Powerline blog. I found it laughable. It read as though the man was really feeling threatened by a few smart guys who dare to tread into his domain- blabbing about issues & world events. What he meant was that he's mad at them because they questioned Dan Rather's reporting & led the charge that showed it to be a fraud & a lie & uncovered sloppiness at best & a hateful, lying, political agenda at worst, and therefore may cast doubt on all reporters & their reporting. And he's mad at people who use other sources to find out information. Those other sources are wrong, the newspaper/tv news/msm is right, and damnit people are stupid if they believe otherwise.

I blog & read blogs because I enjoy it. I like to have this outlet to rant, I like to read other people's rants. I like to find out information from other perspectives than my own. I like that many of the blogs I read contain opinion, but also links, often several, to different sources of info about the issue the blogger is writing about. I like that others will, through their blogs, share information I would otherwise not have access to- mostly because I'm too lazy to dig around & find it for myself.

That Minneapolis StarTribune columnist is not the first to piss & complain about bloggers in general, Powerline blog in particular. I think that they should clean their own house first, make sure their mid-market daily rag is top notch, then they can worry about the "competition."

2 Comments:

Blogger Christine said...

Ahhh. The decline of newspapers, one of my favorite topics, I think, and I think you've also inspired a possible blog entry for later down the road, but anyway...

I can attribute that to the extremely low starting salaries. Seriously. To work at a smaller newspaper in Massachusetts, you'd make somewhere around $24K/year as your starting salary, and rents in this state are not cheap. I don't think major papers like the Boston Globe or the Springfield Republican (excellent name for a paper, but a bit misleading...) are much better. During the whole dot-com boom, I had just received my journalism degree, and I went for -- wait for it -- an online publication, because that way, I could actually afford the rent for my little poo-box apartment, although a lot of my meals suspiciously resembled some type of pasta (hey, it's cheap...). Journalism just doesn't attract the same quality people anymore. Add in the lousy educational system where idiots get their degrees with piss-poor grammar and spelling... let's not get me started, but it's a pet peeve of mine, how some people are practically illiterate. And then, of course, there's the guy that made me quit my first job, the Indian (from India) that didn't know the basic parts of speech, but somehow still was a copy editor MAKING A FOOL OF THE PUBLICATION.

:: Sigh :: I've said too much. But yeah, newspapers are just not what they used to be.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Sara Thomas said...

I majored in special ed, planning to teach kids with autism, ironic given my eldest's condition- but I digress.

So many from my class were what I'd call stupid, to be plain about it. I couldn't believe some of these people actually felt they could teach children, many of whom would undoubtedly be smarter than their teacher.

An elementary school teacher I know, when I asked her what she got as a gift for bride we both knew wrote it down for me: "knifes."

*shudder*

10:17 AM  

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