Saturday, July 19, 2008

peeking over the chain-link fence

I was happily geeking out at my desk when K. erupted in hyena-like laughter in the living room.
"What?!?" I demanded to know.
He brought in the front page of the L.A. Times, which has a story about Ellen Taylor turfing out the Girl Scouts.

The article makes a point of crediting the Claremont Insider blog, and I was pleased to see that the Insider graciously passed the credit to the Courier, which originally broke the story (although the Insider certainly beat it to death). As K. says, what newspaper is going to credit a rival newspaper?

On a more abstract level, I'm not sure what to think of the LAT getting its front-page stories from blogs. As they eviscerate the newsroom -- 150 reporters and editors canned in the past week, on top of all the previous cuts -- we are spectators of the death of professional journalism. Blogs are a wonderful addition to the global communication network, and an important safeguard of democracy, but as a medium they can never replace good investigative reporting, despite what Sam Zell thinks.

Schools need to start teaching special courses on evaluating sources of information, before our kids start believing everything in the Weekly World News (slogan: "the world's only reliable newspaper"), which will be the last newspaper standing, mark my words.

In happier news, Geoff Boucher, who is the comics and all-things-pulp reporter at the LAT, has not only survived the newsroom putsch (so far) but has been given his own blog. Meg-Bob sez check it out.

I shouldn't be so harsh about the WWN: This week's issue announces that a naturally-occurring Fountain of Vermouth has been discovered. Catch you later -- I'm grabbing my Gilbey's and heading right over!


root2 said...

"...the Insider certainly beat it to death." Like Howell Raines at the NYT a few years ago, we prefer to think of it as "flooding the zone".

Anonymous said...

Last week the L.A. Times discontinued the Wednesday "Highway" section.
If they touch the Thursday "Home" section I'm out of there.
I have been reading the Times for 35 of my 42 years here on this earth & I'm just about done.
Weekly World News here I come!

AP said...

The LA Times is a very good example of how Cutting & Pasting can work for you!