Maybe I got out of the newspaper industry at just the right time. Local papers used to be the pillars of the community when they provided important information and uncovered stories that would otherwise have been swept under the rug. Now, they're nothing more than online sideshows in the age of blogs and Twitter.
Case in point: The Post-Gazette is promoting a live webcam video of Xante, a Golden Retriever puppy spending his weekdays in the newsroom. I wasted about 15 seconds watching Xante wag his tail this afternoon before moving on to more interesting things like washing my clothes. Is this P-G Puppy Cam really what Pittsburgh's top newspaper should be focusing its attention on?
Things seemed to devolve even more when the Observer-Reporter launched a contest today asking people to guess the mystery location where several Peeps marshmallows were staged for a photo. This seems to undermine the O-R's journalistic credibility by publishing something so trivial next to hard news. And with only two full-time photographers left on the payroll, why are they wasting anyone's time shooting a photo of marshmallows dressed up in baseball uniforms?
What really concerns me, though, is whether people find this more interesting than feature stories about people doing good and/or hard-hitting news articles that expose sleazy politicians. If so, then that makes me glad I'm a former newsman.
3 days ago