Thursday, March 05, 2009

Column: Requiem for a Newspaper


In the newspaper biz these days, to say we open up forwarded e-mails from our colleagues with trepidation is an understatement. There’s always the chance that the next one you click on will bring with it the news that the entire industry has collapsed in a cloud of dust and tumbleweeds, and we should all just pack up our AP Style Manuals and head home.

And sure enough, I got one last week that hit me particularly hard: Turns out the community weekly that covered my childhood hometown of Carmel, N.Y., had closed for good, a victim of the Journal Register Company’s recent bankruptcy.

The Putnam County Courier was pretty much the only paper that had any idea of what the people there were up to — the local daily, at least when I lived there, seemed to consider us a quaint little extension of Westchester that was only really worth dipping into if someone was lucky enough to get run over by the Metro North train on its way to New York City.

[Click here for the rest of this week's At Large by Peter Chianca.]

1 comment:

Innkeeper Seely said...

I am sorry for your loss and for the community's loss. For all the electronic wonders of the World Wide Web, texting, and (blech) TV new channels there is no good substitute for a real newspaper. Even as I watch the quality of writing and basic copy editing decline (spell check can not replace a live proof reader) I continue to subscribe to the regional daily and local bi-weekly. I even fire off the occassional letter to the editor - with the ease of e-mail there is no reason not to participate. Too bad more people don't get involved with papers... My husband is a retired journalist. We both mourn the passing of the age of print news.