The Battle of PD

Discussion of the Plain Dealer cutting down to a part-time newspaper has people talking.  Some letters to the editor in said paper have focused on this topic and solutions to the problem.  A recent post from Rustwire also weighs in on the campaign to “save” the PD.

I may be biased from years of journalism classes and simply being a traditionalist, but the loss of the Plain Dealer, or any newspaper in any city, is detrimental.

As you know, I am no fan of much of what passes for media these days.  Cable news is a joke.  Local TV news is only slightly better.  If I want news, I turn to newspapers.  I trust newspapers.

Morgan Freeman was spot on with his comments regarding media, and how they treat tragedies such as Newtown.  Oh, he didn’t actually say that?  But the media and internet said he did.

Nevertheless, whoever posted it was spot on.  Newspapers can be guilty of this as well, but they don’t go to the extent that TV news does.

It’s not whether TV news wants to or not, it’s that they have to.  Twenty-four hours is a big chunk of time to fill.  So they stretch events to fill that time, however they can.  Different takes on what happened.  Speculation of what happened.  Discussion with talking heads from every point of view until the story is drilled into our consciences.  At the end, we get more insight into the killer than we ever need or want.

TV news also has the problem of its instantaneousness.  Every network wants to be THE network that breaks the story, that shares the results.  Then facts get twisted and lost in the frenzy.  Ask President Gore.

Newspapers have time.  They will go to press just once a day.  Their editors can check and re-check to be sure the facts are right.  (Yes, they make mistakes too.)  Newspapers also have finite space to fill, with plenty of news to fill it with.  They may get into the superfluous and, frankly, disgusting aspects of the story too, but there will not be the tangents and deep analysis that does nothing at all for any of us.

My fear is that e-newspapers will become no better.  The papers may just become another version of inane drivel being passed for truth.

The Rustwire author states Cleveland has a resistance to change.  It’s not change I fear, it’s a poor decision to change just for change’s sake.


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