Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Further Signs of the Death of Newspapers

I've been a reader of the L.A. Times since we moved here in 1994. The ritual of waking up and reading the newspaper over a bowl of cereal is something I've done since childhood. With baseball season upon us, I love the idea of reading the box scores and reviewing how my favorite teams did the night before. Additionally, the Times arts and entertainment section is top notch. Since this is an industry town, I guess that's what you'd expect. Anything you want to know about movies, music, theater and television waits for you at the end of the driveway every morning.

Well, not everything. Yesterday I discovered that the Times is no longer listing the daily TV grid in their arts section. Thus, if I want to know what's on TV that day I'll need to go online or scroll through my Directv guide after I turn on the television. I know, it's not that big of a deal. Most cities around the country stopped printing the TV grid years ago. Heck, some cities in the country stopped printing newspapers years ago. I guess I'm just a little saddened that the city that is the home of most television studios and production companies has had to stop this service. For me, I took just as much joy at seeing what movies or TV shows were on that day as I did in reading the league standings in the sports section.

Yesterday the Times also ran a single page of comic strips in color. This was disheartening because a) they used to run two pages, and b) I find something special about the black & white strips and the artistry that goes into creating them. Another sign that the L.A. Times is going to continue cutting costs to compete with the Internet.

It's been a long time coming and I suppose I should appreciate how much of a newspaper I still get to read. Whenever we return to Cleveland for a visit, I'm shocked at how thin the Cleveland Plain Dealer has become. Someday soon there won't be a daily newspaper, just blips on the screen that register in our eyeballs.

What will Joe Jackson have to sing about when that happens?

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