Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Newspaper is Dead, Long Live Good Paying Post-Newspaper Jobs

I watched a very small portion of the "Sabado Gigante" that is an ABQ City Council meeting last night, and from reading Dan McKay's piece this morning in the Journal I must have lucked out and watched the most interesting segment.

Sally Mayer was in fine form, seething with sarcasm and rage as she hurled prickly questions and barbed comments at City Chief Operating Officer Ed Adams. That was great TV, but I found myself more intrigued by Councilor Michael Cadigan, who pseudo-rhetorically asked whether it was ethical for the city to hire a Journal reporter, Jim Ludwick, into the sparkling new city position of "Animal Care Analyst" at $72,000 a year, especially as Ludwick was until recently the Journal reporter assigned to stories about ABQ Animal Services.

I'll let others debate the ethics involved (ethics/morality...such slippery places) and instead point out that the Ludwick hire is just the last windy flake in a blizzard of poorly paid newspaper people getting hired by politicians into swanky jobs. I'm not saying there is something wrong with people like the Trib's Kate Nelson, Kate Nash and everybody else named Kate going into government jobs (the Trib is dying after all), but instead bring it up as a sign that not only the Tribune is dying here.

Newspaper reporters are pitifully paid. With the Trib's impending death, that leaves the journalistic penny-pinchers at the Journal with an even bigger pool of potential reporters to inadequately pay. The death spiral of print journalism will be full of Jim Ludwick's from here on out.

In related news, the New York Times has given up on its attempt to actually make money off the Internet. "Times Select" is no more as of tomorrow. I'll be first in line to read Maureen Dowd now, after having avoided her, Frank Rich and the other Times columnists at $14.95 a month. I'd like to say I missed their columns, but life kinda went on without them, I guess. I also expect both Rich and Dowd to find themselves some post-newspaper jobs in the near future. Maybe Mayor Marty Chavez will need to hire some "Civil Liberties Analysts" some time soon.

No comments: