Thursday, March 12, 2009

A few more thoughts about the Herald

A few friends at the Herald sent emails this morning in response to this post.

  • from David: "Thanks for the kind words Bill. I hope we can pull through OK, and at least manage to perform this noble profession even if in spurts. -D"

  • from Ellie: "Yup-- that shoulda been the headline. Very sweet, heartfelt posting. Thanks for giving a sh*t."

    Last night while trying to make sense of the day's happenings I kept thinking of this line from the classic newspaper movie, "All the President's Men."

    Ben Bradlee played by Jason Robards tells Woodward and Bernstein:
    "You know the results of the latest Gallup Poll? Half the country never even heard of the word Watergate. Nobody gives a shit. You guys are probably pretty tired, right? Well, you should be. Go on home, get a nice hot bath. Rest up... 15 minutes. Then get your asses back in gear. We're under a lot of pressure, you know, and you put us there. Nothing's riding on this except the, uh, first amendment to the Constitution, freedom of the press, and maybe the future of the country. Not that any of that matters, but if you guys fuck up again, I'm going to get mad. Goodnight."
    None of this probably matters to those journalists who lost their jobs yesterday.

    But to borrow a phrase from Ellie: some of us do give a sh*t and can't bear the thought of losing the Herald. FWIW.

    UPDATE: Broward New Times writer Bob Norman's blog post on the Herald cuts has elicited almost 100 comments so far.

    Notable are the comments by Dave Barry and other Herald staffers - some named and some anonymous.

    Legendary retired Herald reporter Arnold Markowitz also weighs in:
    Arnold Markowitz says:
    Does the "Anonymous" so bitterly criticizing Bob Norman for publishing the victim list really work at the MH? In the news department? What is that one's job?

    Info for comparative newcomers: What you're complaining about today isn't new at all, although it probably hurts more now. During my time at the MH (1967-2001)the newsroom was almost always top-heavy. Usually someone was working one management step above his or her capacity-- sometimes two or even three steps. Very few of those(I was one)understood that and went back to what they did well.
    We almost always had at least one determined jive turkey in a position to inflict wounds on the paper and/or the news staff.

    Do Rick Hirsch and others deserve the beating they're taking here? I hope not, but I could run out of breath naming past managers who did fit those pejorative descriptions.

    Somehow we survived them and even thrived for a very long time while the Herald was owned by people who wanted it to succeed as a news medium. It was a newspaper then. We could and did think of it as ours. Now it's hard to think of it as anything more than a stock exchange listing.


    Posted On: Wednesday, Mar. 11 2009 @ 11:40PM
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