Clearly, I'm a regular LA Times reader. Lots of the content for my posts is sparked by my daily habit of cruising through those crinkly pages to find out about our world.
For a while, I've been wanting to post about the changes newspapers are undergoing. That's why something on television struck a chord with me.
I was watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last week. (See Wednesday, Sept. 24th episode here.) As he joked about how the various media approach Sarah Palin, he pretended to forget what newspapers are.
Stewart jibed, “You know, those things that smudge your hands. You know, you wrap old fish in them.” Aah, the bitter satire.
Unfortunately, it’s so true. The sea change that is swamping our country’s papers is sweeping them away. The Los Angeles Times I hold in my hands today is a pale, pared down version of what I read just three months ago.
Round after round of leadership change and staff cuts has reduced the scope, breadth and depth of what comes into my home each day in plain ole black and white. The push is towards the Tribune’s website and growing list of blogs. And that’s great. Maybe a change is inevitable; maybe it’s just what is called for.
Frankly, I’m surprised by the quality writing that the paper is maintaining despite the battering by economic and social forces it’s endured during the last few years.
If this interests you, Columnist Steve Lopez said it best this summer. See if his plea brings a misty tear to your eye.