Posted by midiguru on March 20, 2009
Newspapers across the country are in big trouble. And let’s face it, a democracy needs reliable sources of news. Which means newspapers and news magazines. Bloggers are bullshit. Television is hyperactive fluff.
Not that anybody is paying the slightest attention to me, but I can tell you how to fix your major metropolitan newspaper.
First — don’t publish daily. Today there are better sources of instantaneous news. Publish two or three times a week; Sunday and Thursday would be ideal. Take a little extra time and get the story right. Publish longer stories. Add depth.
Second — get rid of the crap. No comics, no horoscopes. Just give us news, analysis, and commentary. The crap sold papers sixty years ago, but people today already have way too many sources for free crap. Reviews of local plays and concerts, sure. We need that information. Reviews of TV shows? I’m not so sure.
Third — cheap sensationalism is not news! Don’t report on gory crimes at all. Instead, give us news that actually affects our lives. Tell us more about what the legislature is up to. Tell us about the environment we live in.
Fourth — don’t print wire service stories verbatim. Intersperse every wire service dispatch with intelligent analysis by local writers.
Fifth — and this may be the most controversial suggestion of all — hire delivery people who can get the damn paper up on the porch, not leave it lying in the gutter in the rain. Is that too much to ask?