Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The Sun-Sentinel *sucks*
I had a lot to post about tonight -- from Paris to dumb associates to heavy Cuban accents -- but instead I'm going to tell you how stupid the Sun-Sentinel is. That paper, which has always given the Herald a run for its money, had one of the young star reporters in South Florida: Vanessa Blum. And it fired her today.
Well, the Sun-Sentinel let Vanessa go today because it has partnered up with the Herald and decided that it could simply buy the Herald federal court coverage for its paper. The Herald will use some Sun-Sentinel coverage of local school board stuff for its paper. And on and on. Rumpole made the point about the dying newspaper business here when he was covering the Herald's firing of Susannah Nesmith:
Here's the point with the BBC stuff- if these trends keep up, local news will soon be gone. No one to report on County Commissioners doubling dipping into their expense accounts; no one to wander the hallways of the courthouse at 2PM and write about all the Judges missing; no one to write about the cops accused of misconduct and no one to write about the injustice of trying defendants over and over until the government gets a conviction.
We can function without Susannah Nesmith. We cannot function without the Susannah Nesmith's of the world. It's a scary thought that the free press is fading away not with an assault against the first amendment, but because the morons who made the business decisions for newspapers didn't see five years ago Craigslist was about to cripple their classified ad income.
President Obama recently referred to a quote from the nation's third president, Thomas Jefferson: "If he had the choice between government with newspapers or newspapers without government, he'd choose the latter." (Rumpole, I just cited to you, Obama, and Jefferson to make a point. What's wrong with that picture?)
Now, this is no knock on Jay Weaver and Curt Anderson, who are also friends of the blog, but they can't cover the entire District by themselves. And of course we have the DBR, which is committed to covering the federal courts. But while they are covering a big case in Miami, who will be tending the store in Lauderdale? What about Palm Beach and Ft. Pierce? And Vanessa broke her share of Miami stories as well -- the latest being the sealing issues in the Mutual Benefits case, which everyone is now looking in to.
I understand budgets and the crisis facing the newspaper industry. But what's the point of having a paper if you are giving up your local coverage? The whole reason people buy the Sun-Sentinel is because of reporters like Vanessa. Without that local coverage, why do we need a Ft. Lauderdale paper?
Vanessa will land on her feet -- she's smart, personable and a great reporter. I wonder where the Sun-Sentinel will land if it keeps this up.