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A blog wherein a literary agent will sometimes discuss his business, sometimes discuss the movies he sees, the tennis he watches, or the world around him. In which he will often wish he could say more, but will be obliged by business necessity and basic politeness and simple civility to hold his tongue. Rankings are done on a scale of one to five Slithy Toads, where a 0 is a complete waste of time, a 2 is a completely innocuous way to spend your time, and a 4 is intended as a geas compelling you to make the time.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Going, going gone...

Once upon a time Newsday was a great newspaper, the NY Times in tabloid garb for people on Long Island, and for several years with aspirations of becoming a 4th paper in New York.

Well, not any more. Roiled by a scandal over inflated circulation and dragged down by one staff cut after another after another, the paper's become a shell of its former self, a newspaper without any news. And now another 120 people are disappearing, including 25 more editorial staff.

I used to buy this paper every day. When I started JABberwocky in 1994 I switched to reading at the library to save a few bucks, but if I had to buy it on any given day, no problem. Now, it's not worth the fifty cents. Never.

Sadly, this is a situation that's coming up more and more, as newspapers confront plummeting print ad revenue and the ability of the web to provide information. One reason I can afford not to buy Newsday is that I can use the Daily Comics widget on my Mac Dashboard to get my comics, and that's about 25% of the newspaper reading time I don't need the newspaper for.

But should reading the funnies ever be 25% of my newspaper time? I am a confirmed newspaper addict, and I don't want to buy a newspaper. I don't imagine the solutions to the industry's problems are easy ones, but if the best they can come up with is to stop giving even their most addicted customers a reason to use each day...


Peat said...

Newsprint is dead. Buy a laptop with wifi like the rest of us. It'll keep your hands ink-free, too!

Anonymous said...

And because so many newspapers and news channels have such non-newsworthy stuff, I check several countries' main news websites to find stuff that is. BBC news is one of the better ones, in my opinion.