Monday, August 19, 2013

That scent of freshly brewed tea and newsprint first thing in the morning

I just wanted to chime in this morning along with the Washington Post, Huffington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS and yes, even FOX News to celebrate a tiny yet significant victory in journalism.  Today, the Orange County Register launched the inaugural issue of a brand new paper, the Long Beach Register.


Why is this a "significant victory" (instead of a doomed venture)?  As my mother used to say, Because I said so.  Because the mainstream media (see those listed above) has been saying for years that readers don't want to read print media anymore.  We are told almost daily that readers get their news online.  Yep, some do.  Youngsters.  But some of us still enjoy the pace of a lifestyle that includes strolling out to the driveway predawn to find out what transpired overnight or what's been happening in our community while we've been busy working.  (Come on, Boomers, who's with me on this?!?)

Some years ago, when I still lived in Rancho Cucamonga, I subscribed to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.  The dogs and I would do our 4:00a.m. walk around the block and on the way into the house, I'd grab the paper from the driveway, then lean on the kitchen counter while my tea was steeping, perusing the news or reading MikeRappaport's column.  When the Gannett folks let Rappaport go (don't even get me started about those idiots), I canceled that subscription and got the L.A. Times, a newspaper which has won 41 Pulitzer prizes since 1942, five in the year 2004 alone.  Please.  Show me the online reporting--in this day and age when a news "story" can consist of merely two sentences: Man hit by train in Ontario.  Details to follow--that has been nominated for a Pulitzer.  I'm sure it happens, but not for my local papers (which, by the way, are all owned by Gannett, so all the websites look the same--and sometimes carry the same news story).

I digress.  My joy today has to do with the fact that the forward thinking folks at the OC Register refused to lie down and let the steamroller of youth-led technology roll over them.  Yes, young folks want sound bites.  Got it.  But those of us who prefer reading stories with depth and substance want to do so with the soundtrack of rustling paper and the scent of fresh ink hanging in the air.

Thank you and congratulations, OC Register.  Best wishes, the Buddha speed, and go after it, all you brave fresh faces at Long Beach Register.

Wanna look cool today?  Grab a newspaper from a stand and walk around with it under your arm.  People will assume you are well read, well informed and intelligent.  Try to do that digitally!

Forgive me while I say it again:  Booyah!!


  1. Kay, thanks so much for the kind words, but the only place I ever worked for Gannett was in Reno from 1988-90. When I started writing my column in 1996, the Bulletin was owned by Donrey Media. In late '99 or early '00, I forget which, we were purchased by Media News, owned by Dean Singleton. We were a very good paper at that time, but we were overstaffed by some standards and they started cutting slots. In March 2001, Singleton's handpicked editor, Steve O'Sullivan, decided we only needed one columnist and gave that slot to David Allen. I worked there for nearly seven more years, including four-plus as business editor, but it was never the same.

  2. Thanks for clarifying, Mike. The Gannett gang is certainly the Master now, and I suppose I'm hyper-ready to blame them for everything bad that has transpired with the Daily Bull in recent years.