A sub-mediocre newspaper, in a country of sub-mediocre newspapers

I had heard from a friend about devastating flooding in numerous New Jersey towns, so to find out more I went to the website of that state’s largest paper, the Newark Star-Ledger. All they had was small-bore stories, no overview of what had happened to the state. The reporters seem incapable of forming a large picture of a phenomenon. It’s just, “This official said this,” and “This owner of a flooded restaurant says this.”

There’s a reason that the New York Times is still, notwithstanding its evil, the premier newspaper in the U.S. and perhaps the world: it has reporters who can write. The regional and local papers in America are an embarrassment. And the same can be said of the big-city papers. For example, does anyone bother reading the Washington Post about any event that matters?

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Richard K. writes:

The Record is a northern NJ paper that is better written than the Star Ledger, but … they’ve been covering Libya on page A9 (when they’re not ignoring it) and are, in general, relentlessly liberal.

There really is no good NJ paper.

Thanks for your great site.

A reader writes:

How would you expect newspapers to hire people who can write? They are almost all virtually bankrupt because people can get their news on the Internet. Many good writers have left or been laid off by newspapers, and well-paid reporters have been re-assigned to demeaning jobs where it is hoped that they will quit. The last generation of fully trained journalists is coming to an end. There are virtually no copy editors left and the role of assigning editors has entirely changed.

A friend of mine, who works at a big-city paper, sits amid a literal sea of empty chairs. The New York Times has more resources, and so it defies these realities a bit more.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 30, 2012 10:48 AM | Send

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