Exit Mr. Excitement

By PHILIPE + JORGE  |  February 25, 2009

We've heard from friends at the Other Paper who suggest there will soon be a reduced number of press runs, which will mean earlier deadlines for reporters — who will love the added stress and pressure — and that your local town meeting coverage, not to mention stories on that night's Celtics or Red Sox game, won't be available in hard copy until a day later. Can you say "old news," boys and girls?

This is one more descent in the march toward Web coverage. Naturally, all the local news that breaks in the evening and the sports scores and stories will be posted on projo.com. Yes, we are aware this is the wave of the future and real newspapers will become obsolete. But without the ad revenue, who is going to pay real reporters to write real news for a Web site?

Without real journalists writing good, well-researched, hard news stories, where will the blithering and blathering blogs — and you, unhappy campers — get the real information most of those opinionated chuckleheads use as their springboard? Which means people like P+J will essentially become the New York Times. If that idea doesn't frighten you, have another pint of absinthe to wash down the Prozac.


END OF A PRINT JOURNALISM ERA?
And speaking of the sad deterioration of the BeloJo, to our knowledge — we might have missed it after a few Pernod and grapefruits — as of Wednesday, there had been no mention in the Biggest Little's "Paper of Record" about the Journal Register Company (JRC) filing for bankruptcy on February 21. Stories about the JRC meltdown have appeared in Reuters, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, and a number of other sources but the Other Paper seems to be clueless on the subject. Even NBC10 (aka "Channel 10") ran the story on one of their early evening broadcasts on Monday.

Until 2007, the JRC owned the Times of Pawtucket, the Woonsocket Call, the Pendulum of East Greenwich, the Narragansett Times, and a few other local papers. They are the company that cut those publications to the bone before peddling them off to Horizon Publications, an outgrowth of the fabulous (and in many cases, highly illegal) maneuvers of Conrad Black, David Radler, and their Hollinger International. (By the way, Radler did time in a federal lockup in Pennsylvania, then ratted out Black, who is doing time in Florida and penning a jailhouse journal from his Miami jail cell. Bravo, boys!)

The good news is that the folks who toiled for the Times for years are able to secure their benefit pension plan. As veteran Times reporter Doug Hadden told P&J, "Thank heavens it's not 401k." P&J would like to add that we are indebted to Hadden (a real newsman as opposed to your superior, yet largely fraudulent, correspondents) for providing us with the proper chronology and other details of the JRC's adventures in the Ocean State.

While the Urinal has missed the JRC story altogether, we congratulate them for noticing the Phoenix's February 13 cover story regarding the bloated near-$3 million salary of Lifespan CEO, George Vecchione. You know, Lifespan, the "non-profit" hospital chain. The story was researched, reported, and written by Steven Stycos.

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