Thursday, October 22, 2009

Read All About It! (While You Can)

Daily newspapers are in serious trouble, as you know if you read a daily newspaper. Hardly a day passes without a report of a closure, a bankruptcy, or a massive staff layoff. I hear that one editor, in an economy measure, sent the sports editor to cover the Metropolitan Opera. He included this account in his review: "Levine, suffering from a recurrent shoulder injury, didn't have his best stuff, and the Met's manager pulled him at the end of the second act. A reliever from the bullpen finished the opera without a score." Well, that's what I heard.

Newspapers are getting much thinner and one unintended consequence is a shortage of material with which to line cat boxes, wrap garbage, and pack crystal. Desperate householders are turning to the more copious, but far less suitable, pages of the Victoria's Secret catalogue.

Most maddening of all, you often encounter news stories in the paper--which you have bought in order to read the news stories--that provide only teasing highlights and tell you: "For the full story, go to our website."

As the newsprint-loving Bard of Buffalo Bayou puts it:
One day soon we'll have to get
News only from the Internet.
The newspapers will cease to be,
And that's just fine--if you're a tree.

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