Err… so maybe my strategy of drinking one (or two) in honor of fallen newspaper comrades will result in alcohol poisoning quicker than I had thought.
The demise of the 174-year-old Ann Arbor News, announced today, is worth some special regard, as it is now becoming apparent the next few months will
likely be filled with dark red spots on the map noting where newspapers have shut down their print editions. The Tribune bankruptcy, crippling cuts and layoffs at my old paper in SC, the Rocky, the PI, etc etc., all seemed like sad reminders worthy of a beer in the gullet while contemplating the hundreds of unpaid “Writer wanted” postings on Craigslist (a recent highlight: “This position is currently an unpaid one, but will give you hands on experience in this medium. In addition you will be a member of our masthead, receive business cards, etc.” So, couldn’t you save the business cards and at least give offer the $20 they cost to print?)
I should probably find a healthier way of marking my condolences, I guess. Tequila shots followed by naked, screaming laps around Atlantic Ave? Done and done.
It seems that the Rocky shutting down may prove to be the dam breach. I wonder if it’s a psychological thing, like newspapers were holding out, not wanting to be known as the first to shut down the presses for good. Why it’s taken this drastic change for a paper like the Seattle PI to focus on a comprehensive web strategy, I also do not know. The SF Chronicle is still fighting off the possibility their closure would make SF the first major American city without a newspaper.
I’d link to the Ann Arbor Web site here, but I won’t put you through it. It’s … rough, to say the least. Go ahead and find it, if your head isn’t sore from slapping already. The main post on there today is announcing major revisions to the look and navigation of the news site. Under that, in the “latest news” heading: “Ann Arbor News to close in July.”
You can’t make this stuff up people. Pass the tequila.