Sunday, January 11, 2009

Fleck on Belshaw

Like many papers, The Times is in deep trouble. To cut costs in the face of declining ad revenue, it has eliminated sections and shed about 400 positions through layoffs, buyouts and attrition over the past year.

The parent Seattle Times Co. has put some of its South Lake Union real estate and its newspapers in Maine up for sale to raise capital to pay down debt. Tentative deals were killed or delayed last fall when the credit crunch hit, Times executives said in a year-end e-mail to employees.--Eric Pryne, Seattle Times, 1.11.09

And then there's Jim Belshaw. Go read John Fleck's piece on Belshaw, if you haven't already. And you've probably already read Belshaw's column. I've got nothing to add. Or certainly nothing that can match Mr. Fleck's observations on the subject.

P.S.: I did have this daydream the other day while teaching my 8th graders about the Works Progress Administration that maybe Obama's version of the WPA could include idealistic government ownership of print journalism in the same, somewhat unfettered, way FDR hired poets, actors, graphic artists, photographers and such to do, somewhat unfettered, artist's work. But then I remembered that FDR did far too much "fettering" to constitute a truly free press. Meanwhile, we continue to slouch toward something journalistically anarchical. I used to daydream about the marvelous wonders of anarchism. It doesn't daydream quite as dreamily as it used to.

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