Muddling through the blogosphere

What do you lose if newspapers don’t survive?


from Oakland Tribune 1948Sixty years after the fact, I just finished reading the reprint of a lead story that “captures the excitement which must have been felt by Oakland Tribune reporter Ray Haywood as he witnessed the historic event and later recorded it on his typewriter”: Casey Stengel and the Oakland Oaks’ first pennant in 21 years!

It was starting my morning with Bud Hunt‘s tribute to the Rocky Mountain News combined with the SacBee’s feature California Forum article What do you lose if newspapers don’t survive? that has me considering the likely reality of a “newspaperless” future.  Worth pondering is Paul Starr’s (reprinted by SacBee) statement:

And while the new digital environment is more open to “citizen journalism” and the free expression of opinions, it is also more open to bias and to journalism for hire. Online, there are few clear markers to distinguish blogs and other sites that are financed to promote a viewpoint from news sites operated independently on the basis of professional rules of reporting.”

While I too am a member of the rapidly escalating group that tends to check out morning headlines online, I also continue to subscribe to the SacBee. Local newspapers capture the uniqueness of a community – something I haven’t experienced through the online venue. Davis resident Janice Bridge, also quoted in this morning’s Bee, describes well what I mean: “Local papers weave the elements of our daily lives into a fabric that becomes community. Children who grow up with a local newspaper know they and their friends matter because they have read about themselves and each other in the daily paper.”

Oh, and the young sportswriter who witnessed and reported the Oakland Oaks’s historic triumph…my father, Ray Haywood.  Good luck to the Oakland Trib, Sac Bee, and all other newspapers in your struggle to survive. We take you for granted, but you are “an integral part of daily life in America.”


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