Friday, June 18, 2010

Newspapers: Michael Gags on his Coffee

My friend Michael has been reading that Economist piece on the non-collapse of the newspaper biz. He came to the stuff about how the world does need LA Times foreign correspondents, because others are better. After recovering from the gag on his coffee, he said
The thing about getting all your foreign reporting from the NYT is that it isn't always right. It was quite wrong about the run-up to the Iraq war, as the editors shamefacedly admitted later. The other papers were no better, with the exception of Knight Ridder, whose reporters kept saying, "WMDs? Wha...? What are these people talking about?" But no one listened, probably because Knight Ridder did not publish a newspaper located in the Washington-New York area. And now Knight Ridder is one with Nineveh and Tyre.
Actually, I had a former KR foreign correspondent in a law school class a few years ago. Bright kid; indeed, perhaps bright enough that he saw the handwriting on the wall.

Michael also has a kind word for Carol Lochhead, reporting from Washington for the SF Chronicle. "Her stuff is superb," he says. "If she were to move to the New York Times, the editors would kill her spirit in a week."

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