My daughter stopped by today en route to getting her hair done. In a small chat, she took the trouble to orient me on the vagaries of the burgeoning marijuana-sales world of which I have little understanding. Then she was off with my younger son to a "wine-tasting" event. I returned to the hard-copy newspaper said to serve my world, "The Daily Hampshire Gazette."WEEKEND WEATHERA blustery day Saturday with snow showers. Sunday better.Page A2Drawing by Juliana Valerio Norris School, Southampton
Bit by bit and drip by drop, the Gazette oozes into non-existence and reduced-reduced-reduced staff which produces the front page and the small, homey (dontcha know) box giving an overview of the weather ... above.
Like much of the rest of what's left of the 'news'paper, the weather box has been truncated to leave out even the most salient of facts... right down to the guesstimated temperatures and the suggestion that "blustery" is somehow bad or undesirable and when coupled with snow is a true "uh-oh."
In my news incarnation, temperature ranges were part of the forecast. Readers could and did use those frequently-inaccurate markers as pegging parameters on their own day ... and not have some feel-good smiling ninny do it for them. True, the snippet did encourage people to look inside for more Gazette insight, but at that point doesn't it stop being worthy of page-one note?
I am sick of people trying to improve my world or make me feel better about it when they have little or no evidence about what may or may not be somehow worse. Instead, I am provided with the opportunity to agree and be sociable and .... and it's all miles from what once was news.
My younger son, who can be prickly, has a sweatshirt that reads, "there will always be assholes."
OK. Nuff said.
Newspapers everywhere are declining ... declining and whining ... and yet they seem to keep on printing. Maybe it's the 10% profit margin they may be enjoying despite the loss of bricks-and-mortar ad revenue. I'll admit it can't be easy to have the past and present on the plate without pretending to see the future into the bargain. One way to sidestep might be to print on each page in Told type, "NO ONE CAN FORESEE THE FUTURE."