“The problem with newspapers isn’t the quality of their journalism but the weakness of their business model. It’s ironic that readership of newspaper content in print and online is at an all-time high while the revenues of the US industry are at a 60-year low. We should be focused not on preserving newspapers but on preserving journalism.”
—Paul Gillin, of Newspaper Death Watch
should tell you that the Joplin Globe has given me the left foot of fellowship.
The beer money I was earning for writing this blog affiliated with the paper proved too much for its finances to bear.* Man, these are hard times when a newspaper the size of the Globe can’t afford to pay a pittance for quality commentary! Maybe if John McCain had been president, the economy would have blossomed such that the paper could afford my meager wages. Damn, maybe I should have voted for McCain, but the Joplin Globe told me not to.
In any case, as grateful as I am to have had the conservative Globe’s blessing as a liberal blogger, I am now untethered from of our local newspaper, which means that if this blog continues it will do so as a labor of love. For now, I plan to keep writing through the November election. I began this endeavor just after Obama took office in 2009, and I want to keep at it at least until voters have their say on his presidency.
And besides that, I have some scores to settle with a couple of (now former) conservative Globe bloggers, which I will hopefully get to in time.
As for changes, the only thing I can foresee now is that I won’t be so concerned about profanity. Regular readers who don’t appreciate cursing and coarse talk are now forewarned that I will no longer censor some of the language that most people—even religious people!—use in everyday life.
I once audited a class out at the local ultra-conservative Christian college where a very capable Greek teacher held an enlightening discussion about profanity. He (unwittingly) convinced me that we make way too much of such words, and give them too much power over us.
William F. Buckley, whose writings I have read with great care and enthusiasm (as a conservative) and with great care and dismay (as a liberal), sometimes used words that stuffy folks considered profane and sacrilegious. He defended such use on the grounds that some words perform a function peculiar to those words and that a writer ought to use all of the resources of the language. On that I still agree with Buckley.
Finally, this would be a good time to thank all of the faithful readers of this blog. The readership has grown steadily since I moved to WordPress in September of 2009, and I appreciate your time and attention.
*Most of the Globe blogs were on WordPress and thus readers could avoid going to the Joplin Globe website to read them. And since most readers bookmarked my site and did not go through the Globe (only about 3% of the traffic came from the link on its site), the paper’s management likely reasoned that they weren’t benefiting from my readership. The most obvious solution for the paper, if it wants to be a complete player in the digital age, would be to develop its own blogging platform.