Feel my blinding anger at Brett Anderson being let go from The Times-Picayune when braying donkeys continue to pass for food writers and collect paychecks elsewhere. Because New Orleans isn’t a fraking mecca of food or anything.
Three articles to consider. Put them together and draw your own conclusions.
… Others who were tendered chances to stay were offered new assignments. Longtime political columnist Stephanie Grace and Cindy Chang, who helmed the paper’s recent eight-part investigation into Louisiana prisons, were both offered general reporter slots. Ramon Antonio Vargas, a Northshore crime-and-courts reporter, was offered to stay on — covering sports. Reporter James Varney was offered a job as political columnist. Overall, those in the sports and features departments fared better than their co-workers on the news beats or in the paper’s bureaus, some of which were decimated.
… The decline of newspapers is rooted decades earlier in FCC changes in media ownership policies and the economic models that seek to generate maximum profit from news. In the name of deregulation and under the guise of greater competition, changes in media ownership policies allowed one company to own more and more media outlets and control a greater share of regional markets across the U.S. In the continued search for profit, they increase their income by acquiring more and more media outlets and reducing their expenses by producing cheaper, less costly content (e.g., a news story that reports merely what was said at a press briefing rather than one that investigates the truth of those claims), reducing production frequency, laying off journalists and closing entire papers.
And, as Jeffrey said in response to this article, “Perhaps the most animating cause behind the rise of the ‘blogosphere’ over the past decade has been the reaction of the readership to this dumbing down of the news by conglomerates like Newhouse. The internet has afforded individual consumers of the news an opportunity to vent their frustrations with clearly identifiable gaps in coverage left by the Newhouse model.”
… One role the postwar, professional, “objective” daily newspaper played was to referee the political fights, to decide, through coverage decisions or omission or outright editorializing, which positions were mainstream and which weren’t … But in a newspaperless society, it turns out, it is quite easy for politicians and parties to get away with a lot. Not just outright corruption, not secretive backroom deals, but actual public legislative actions that would have seemed outrageous a generation ago.
Just like government, we deserve the newspaper we get. As a part of the process and the market, if we don’t demand much, we don’t get much. Godpseed to those axed from The Times-Picayune. I really hope you start your own paper or join forces with the other now-better news outlets in town. The rest of America: Watch and learn. The Newhouse model is coming for your city paper next.