Be It Resolved

Two Romenesko items, inches from one another. The first is a series of resolutions for the newspaper industry’s new year.

I won’t annoy you by quoting them. It’s fairly standard bullshit: embrace the Internet! Write more about young people! Never mind that in the history of newspapers content has never driven readership and that your marketing as an industry makes the Chevy Nova look like an advertising triumph! Just keep right on pretending all you have to do is figure out this online thingamabob and everything will be fine!

GAWD. It’s like desperate parents dyeing their hair pink and listening to their kids’ CDs in a futile and sad attempt to get their kids to like them. Personally? As a blogger, one of the hip young things this tool would have newspapers be so jealous of? I don’t want my parents to be just like me. I want my parents to be my parents, to do things I need parents to do, like set a good example, provide food and shelter, and teach me about the world.

Here’s some resolutions: Stop sucking. Stop running front-page features on flip-flops and the Sopranos and The Passion of the Christ. Stop cutting your newsrooms in half because you only pulled a 20 percent profit last year. Stop acting irritated that your readership isn’t what it used to be. Nothing’s what it used to be. Stop saying you have no money for journalism and sending your ad sales execs to Jamaica as a reward for meeting quota. Learn to wiki? How about learning to FOIA? Do the little things: Local official giving you a hard time? Request his travel reimbursement records. Tell the story you don’t think is a story because it’s always been that way, or because everybody does it. Stand up to power and when Republicans whine that you’re mean, buy yourself a beer and send me the bill, because that kind of mean is defined in the real world as your job. And if George W. Bush summons you to the Oval Office to ask you pretty please to enable his criminality to go undetected, undebated and unchecked, reach deep down inside yourself for whatever made you want to be a journalist in the first place and tell him to go fuck himself. No fear or favor. No backing down. Not. One. Inch.

Oh, and the second item?

The annual salary of Gordon Paris, 52, chairman and CEO of Hollinger International, owner of the Chicago Sun-Times, will be reduced to $900,000 in 2006 from $2 million in 2005, according to the company’s proxy statement filed Tuesday

You want to talk about resolving to fix an ailing industry? There’s a good place to start, but it’s just a start. Call me when his pay’s equal to that of his lowest-paid reporter. Then we can talk about the Internet some more.