Last Train to Clueville – The Failure of the Newspaper

imageOnce again I return in the darkness of the early morning in tow behind the dogs and reach down to pick up the newspaper on the driveway. When I lift the blue plastic bag and feel the lack of heft, I immediately begin to scan the ground for the rest of the paper. Nothing around so I slide the plastic back to reveal…what a pitiful end the Rocky Mountain News has come to. A daily newspaper in a major American city is reduced to 32 pages, front to back. What are they going to do when the Broncos find a coach and they can’t devote ten pages each day to that story?

The saga of the News is being played out across the country as once important journals fade away in an environment of the Interwebs and 24/7 cable channels on the television. By the time I get to the newspaper, I’ve already been brought up to speed on the computer and may have listened to a little radio as well. What are they going to offer me any more?

The newspaper/journalism used to be different. I could turn page after page and find depth to a story. Now, I’m bombarded by opinion pieces that pretend to be news stories. When the Rocky Mountain News was put up for sale, the staff went into full salvation mode appearing on local talk radio. What astonished me (or didn’t, I suppose, which made it worse) was their utter state of denial of these men and women as to the decrepit state of journalism. They loudly proclaimed their lack of bias and the fairness of their reporting when just the opposite is on display in each morning’s dwindling pages. The ‘journalists’ patted one another on the back for their stories and series and denied every attempt to point out their lack of objectivity. Some went so far as to attempt to blame a lack of sophistication in the readers for the state of news reporting.

Isn’t the first step in AA admitting you have a problem?

I’ll be saddened the day the RMN shuts down because the alternative, the Denver Post, is much, much worse. Do Wuzzles come in book form?

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