“Newspapers, however rare and financially weak, can adapt and ultimately conquer the threat posed by the Internet, the Justice Department’s Carl Shapiro told a House panel.Truer words were never spoken.
'We do not believe any new exemptions for newspapers are necessary,’ said Shapiro, an assistant attorney general for economics.”From this week's Congressional hearing,
where newspaper executives pleaded
they need a change in antitrust law to survive
Longtime readers know that my husband and I became disgusted with the sensationalistic coverage at the Dallas Morning News, canceled our subscription, and casting about for something to read with our morning coffee landed upon The Wall Street Journal. We knew not how well we chose at the time, but we know it full well now.
Even though the WSJ is a business and financial newspaper, surprisingly they have many articles that amuse, inform, and delight us every morning. Rare is the day that we don't have conversational fodder from several sources, especially as Tom and I have essentially different interests. Even more surprising is the way that the WSJ covers some business and financial news in a way that I actually am interested in reading. That is something I never could have predicted. Not all of it, mind you, but getting me to read any of it is quite a feat. As well, the editorial page has surprising sources for both authors and letters to the editor. As with all media, one must read with a discerning eye to the media's natural bent, but this is offset a surprising number of times by editorials proclaiming an opinion that one would definitely not expect in a conservative financial publication.
Our appreciation for the WSJ has been emphasized recently by the fact that the Dallas Morning News has been tossed on our lawn, evidently gratis, for the last week. What a shock to pick it up and find so little type for so many pages. Even more shocking was the reminder of how lackluster and lightweight their coverage has become. Even in the local and specialty sections (books, food, entertainment) there is mostly syndicated material which simply paddles in the shallow end of any subject. No need for a Congressional hearing to see why this newspaper isn't making it. I remember the days when there were vibrant movie, food, and religion sections (yes, that religion section made me look forward to the Saturday paper, believe it or not) which gradually have all been axed or pruned ruthlessly in favor of ... well, I'm not sure why. Our only assumption is that the accountants are running the papers instead of newspapermen. It is like seeing the local paper has become a Dallas edition of USA Today. Very sad.
Although I no longer miss the comics and found an online source for television listings, we do miss seeing local advertising. However, this has been largely replaced in our household by the ads in our neighborhood magazine and The Dallas Observer. For local news, the blogs of the Observer and D Magazine suffice, especially as most of it is something I do not miss either. In short, this may be the wave of future media: the rise of the small, specialized publication catering to specific areas.
Enough of that. Here are only a few of the stories I have enjoyed recently (you may also find some from further back here):
- How an Evolutionary Garden Grows: The diverse plant and tree collection of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden is arranged according to the classification system of a 19th-century book.
- Behind the Scenes at the Met: At the Metropolitan Opera House, what's happening on the main stage is only a fraction of what's happening in the house.
- New 'Star Trek': A Splendid Enterprise
- Obama and the 9/11 Families: The president isn't sincere about 'swift and certain' justice for terrorists.
- After the Apocalypse: A New Zealand teacher imagines the world in the wake of a disaster (a review of Genesis, which I read about elsewhere just yesterday and am interested in)
- Two escapism trends following those of the Great Depression: cookbooks and candy bars
- Taking One Day at a Time: A Jewish holiday encourages some inner reflection.
- What a Mom Wants: Here's a hint: It's not more hours on the job.
- New Ways to Buy Bach Online: Classical Archives, a new digital store focused exclusively on classical music, promises to give classical composers their due.
- Alcoa Foils Investors with Offering
- GE to Shed Light on Its Properties
- Can Palm Squeeze the Blackberry
- McDonald's Pounds Out Good Quarter
- Ban on Foot-Nibbling Fish Leaves Nail Salon on the Hook
- A Look Into Future Oceans for Shellfish Reasons
- The Cranes in Spain Point Mainly to a Strain