Friday, April 10, 2009

"THE BEST DAMN JOB IN THE WHOLE DAMN WORLD": EBERT

With all the doom and gloom out there about the newspaper business, what with the Rocky Mountain News going belly-up and with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer going belly-up/online only, and with newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle and Boston Globe facing possible closure, we've been seeing more stories on the web about the good old days of newspaper life before the big layoffs, closures and so on.

Roger Ebert wrote one such piece about the good old days in the noisy big-city newsroom of the Sun-Times, where you could actually smoke cigarettes in the newsroom. Well, no wonder so many newspaper folks got cancer, then, if that's what happened.

You almost get nostalgic for the business just reading it, because these days it seems like these papers are cutting to the bone and getting rid of the very things that attract readers to the paper. Also, newspaper life can't all be good, because there are some real weasels out there in editorial roles running so many newspapers into the ground.

Personally, I hope newspapers survive in some form -- you have to get the news from somewhere. Really, what am I supposed to do if I want to read something at McDonald's -- go online???

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