By T.J. Simers
I think the Orange County Register does a great job.
But the newspaper delivered the worst headline I can imagine Tuesday, the top headline in sports and in big letters:: “KINGS GO TO OT.”
Translation: NEWSPAPERS ARE DEAD.
It’s 10 a.m. and someone at the Mini Gourmet in Placentia hands me the Register. It’s a great newspaper, all right, but I wouldn’t spend a dollar for it even if I was still on its payroll.
And there’s the headline, the newspaper telling me it has no clue who won the first-round of the hockey playoffs between the Kings and whoever. Now to be honest I don’t really care, but a lot of times I learn things by just reading the headlines and for the one second it takes in life to read a hockey headline, I can do that.
One second dedicated to hockey is about right.
The Kings played beyond the Register’s deadline, and whatever it was, it was too early. That is if the readers count, and they do no not any longer with most newspapers.
They should have just run the headline: “LOOK ON THE INTERNET.”
Why would you tell folks you are so inadequate when it comes to reporting the news when reporting the news is the only reason you are in business?
I checked the LA Times without paying for it, of course, and shockingly the Kings’ story included a final overtime score. And just as shockingly it was written by Helene Elliott. Not surprisingly it took her 146 words to get to the final score, boring even on deadline.
Under the hockey picture in the Register it was noted: “The game was still in progress when this edition went to press.”
Why? I know the answer, scolded so often for taking copy right up to the deadline, dare to be late and the trucks would be delayed delivering the newspaper.
As low as circulation has dropped at most newspapers, I now picture a kid waiting outside the newspaper on his skateboard ready to deliver newspapers throughout Orange County.
Newspapers are in the process of killing themselves, the readers no longer as important as logistics. I have theorized for some time that newspapers have purposely committed suicide, executives convinced the paper will go away and the Internet will rule the world.
We were told that in a sports meeting at the Times more than a decade ago, “newspapers are going to die,” and the executive who said that, died.
Those still living might be right, but it’s so darn aggravating when witnessing a newspaper killing itself. The sports staff at the Times doesn’t respect its own leadership, finding the sports editor without a vision or the guts to give the readers a quality section to read. The assistant sports editor, recommended for hire by the sports editor, is non-existent, the disorganization destroying the department’s remaining morale.
The LA Times is no longer a must read among people who still must read the newspaper to begin their day. Now I just eat my breakfast, or hope a waiter slips me the Register.
And then consult my cellphone to get to the Internet to find out if the Kings or whoever won.