Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Another opinion on saving the Merc

"[B]efore the Merc editors decide to turn it into some kind of amalgam of an iPod and a Furbie they should remember that there are people who still appreciate good ol' fashioned print-edition newspapers," Washington Post blogger/columnist Joel Achenbach writes in reponse to a column by the WaPo's Howard Kurtz on the Merc's efforts to reinvent itself (see below). "The circulation is 200,000. Many of those readers have surely been devoted to the paper for many years. They shouldn't be jettisoned, but rather enlisted in the next stage of the paper's evolution," Achenbach writes.

Achenbach offers some wistful memories of the Merc:
    "The Mercury News is not a random paper in trouble, at least not here on the A-blog. A skinny college kid interned there in 1981 and got his first taste of professional journalism. In those days no one worried about the future of newspapers. Newspapers printed money. Journalists swaggered around, looking for presidents to bring to heel. No one other than a few hobbyists had ever heard of a "personal computer." The Mercury was a darn good paper, with all-star reporters, like Miles Corwin, Carl Cannon and David Hoffman, to name just a few. And the entire newspaper chain, Knight Ridder, had a great reputation. The future was so bright you had to wear shades, you know? Those were the days.

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