Thursday, December 24, 2009

And Another One Bites the Dust

In today's mail, I got the last-ever Washington Post National Weekly Edition. Until now, this had been the only reliable means for those of us who live more than appx 150 miles outside of DC to subscribe to a true paper and ink edition of the Post. But it's rough out there for newspapers, and the Post decided that it had to ax the Weekly Edition. It's too bad. It's also becoming routine, which is worrying (or it ought to be).

Of course, I still have the Raleigh News & Observer, which is a good paper. When there is a long list of state politicians and administrators who hate and fear a newspaper as there is in the N&O's case, you know that paper is doing something right. Need confirmation? Try asking former NC House Speaker Jim Black (you'll first have to get on his prison visitor list) or former governor Mike Easley (you'll have to catch him when he's not with his attorney talking about the federal and state investigations into his alleged abuses of power, illegal fundraising, and misuse of public funds) or the former director of the NC mental health division & the former directors of the state's mental hospitals. Unfortunately, the McClatchey papers are in far worse shape than is the Post, and have gone through several rounds of layoffs since I moved here.

Additionally, I still have the Washington Post website, but despite how much I appreciate the WaPo online and how much time I spend on it throughout the day, I've realized in the last couple of years that it's not the same. The physical paper is much easier to navigate: every week I'd find stories in the Weekly Edition that I'd completely missed online.

(On the upside, I'm thankful that the WaPo mgmt didn't decide first to try something shockingly desperate and misguided, such as, oh, I don't know, maybe restructuring the org chart so that section editors would now report to the sales managers, violating one of the biggest church/state separations in journalism.)