Saturday, February 28, 2009

Keeping faith amid the gloom

Rosie DiManno writes:

At the Beijing Olympics, a long-time sports columnist friend from Denver plopped down across from me in a media workroom and asked, forlornly: "Are there any reporting jobs in Canada?"

He had been reduced to writing almost exclusively for the Web, blogging this and quick-typing that.

Online journalism has rendered us all news wire hacks – get it posted fast, forget about context or nuance or interpretation, and errors will be fixed on the fly.

Surely it couldn't be as bad as all that, I suggested to my despondent pal, a veteran scrivener. The doomsday scenarios were overwrought, stoked by journalists who instinctively see the worst in everything.

Yesterday, my friend's paper – the 150-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning Rocky Mountain News – announced it will cease publication, as of today, after failing to lure qualified buyers.

I am in mourning. A piece of every journalist dies when a paper expires.

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