Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What We're Talking About

Several of us, colleagues at a newspaper years ago but now mostly scattered to the winds geographically and choices of other careers, have been engaged in an interesting e-mail discussion provoked by the E&P article by Thomas "Dennie" Williams about staff cutbacks and investigative reporting. Topics include the failure of newsroom people to answer e-mail or phone messages (absolutely not a new issue but one that seems to have worsened in recent years, some people think), the damage to reporting and editing from the cutbacks, the viability of print at all and a bunch of other matters.

It makes me wonder how many similar conversations are going on among other groups of former colleagues and how their observations might be brought together and put to good use. There's remarkably little harking back to the good old days in this e-mail exchange--although one person did manage to dig up a picture of me from 30 years ago-- but instead a lament, certainly, for the lost ability to tell good stories and root out the bad guys. You know, keeping true to that old that hokey line about comforting the afflicted, afflicting the comfortable.

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