Taking What Readers Love Away From Them

Soon they’ll be complaining about how readers have left them and they cannot imagine for the life of them why:

A distinctive art form is being steadily destroyed by people who look purely at revenue. It’s hard to say that an editorial cartoonist generates a certain amount of income for the newspaper, just as it is hard to say how much any single reporter or photographer does. But eliminating the cartoonist sends a message to readers: We are taking away something you value, something that makes your newspaper distinctive, something you cannot get anywhere else. We value your newspaper less, and you should too.

It’s a terrible message, and it comes at a price that may not be immediately apparent but will cost newspapers dearly in the long run.

But hey, they can afford Kathleen Parker and George Will’s syndication fees, so I’m sure all will be well after all.

Via Romenesko.

A.

8 thoughts on “Taking What Readers Love Away From Them

  1. Scott S. says:

    Yeah, the thing that always bugs me about things like this, is the same thing that bugs me when you read about papers that decide they’ll save money by no longer buying reporters notebooks or pens. It’s not actually designed to save money, because that stuff is really inexpensive — it just shows everyone that you’re a cheapass.
    Price of editorial cartoons? Minimal. Price of syndicated beltway columnists? Way more than minimal. Chintzing out on the cartoonist means you’re a cheapass.

  2. God I’m ready for the fucking newspaper industry to just die already, so whatever rises from its ashes can get on with it.
    Look, as long as the media profits from our fucked up political system, as long as the people who are supposed to inform us benefit financially from misinforming us, as long as the news meida remains a key component of the “Politico-Industrial Complex,” we’re screwed.
    So just fucking die already. I’m sick of this shit.

  3. pansypoo says:

    meh. the urinal insist on running the horrible ramirez + lisa something. sanders retired.

  4. idiosynchronic says:

    The Des Moines Register has been dying the death of a thousand slow cuts like most of the Gannett-owned papers (and industry), but grave was dug when they cut political cartoonist Brian Duffy in 2008. (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=griO6QuMnMY )
    For over a hundred years, the front page of the Des Moines Register featured a daily editorial cartoon, establishing a tradition of political commentary in Iowa. You don’t fuck with tradition like that.

  5. MapleStreet says:

    Not to mention that a well designed editorial cartoon can get the reader to think of a topic in new ways.
    By getting the reader to psuse, it gets the reader to reflect. By not putting the meaning (and admittedly, often the political orientation) up front, it can use that moment of ambiguity to temporarily avoid the readers’ preconceptions.
    In short, it can be a moment which elevates the reader.
    What a shame that the owners have forgotten what the news is supposed to do.

  6. joel hanes says:

    It’s a damn shame about the DM Register. Once it was a fine paper with some defensible pretension to greatness.

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  8. Budoy says:

    , incompetent ashsloes or bumbling idiots or pandering jackasses or even asinine, provincial morons because I think he was referring to the politics and politicians in New Orleans. And good for him standing up to them. I also think that he doesn’t have anything invested in this recovery (other than reputation), so he doesn’t care what they say/think/do to him once he leaves. New Orleanians would be blackballed and forced out of their organizations and such. If it looks like a buffoon, walks like a buffoon, and acts like a buffoon, it’s probably a buffoon. Buffoons, I think, sums them all up pretty well.I agree with you, though. He could have spelled out exactly who and what the obstacles are. That would have been awesome. Unless they fired him. Then that would suck.

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