Monday, October 23, 2006

Newspapers, comics, and clear water

A couple interesting things today about newspapers: The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz writes about the future of investigative journalism, in his column, Tightened Belts Could Put Press In a Pinch. He mentions the Post's coverage of Jack Abramoff, and the LA Times' coverage of Rep. Curt Weldon, that led to official investigations. Not to mention coverage in another area of journalism, ABC New's breaking of the Tom Foley story, and several more. But, says Kurtz, eroding circulation and newsroom cuts may have an effect:
If this erosion continues, it would be bad news for serious journalism, and good news for corrupt politicians.

The wonderful Gene Weingarten profiles Doonesbury's Garry Trudeau, including a visit with wounded soldiers, in the Post magazine: Doonesbury's War.
It turns out he's not afraid of publicity so much as he's horrified at being perceived as the kind of person who wants publicity...He's a genuinely humble know-it-all. His regard for injured soldiers is sincere, his knowledge of their lingo profound, almost as if he's one of them; watching this, you can't help but hear faint, soul-rattling echoes of Vietnam, which he escaped, like many sons of privilege, by gaming the system. He's got the greatest job on Earth -

His continuing story of B.D. losing a leg in Iraq, is called 'genius' and 'breathtaking'.

And how does this relate to the 'dying newspapers' story? Well, Weingarten says:
TRUDEAU'S GREATEST WORK is coming at a time when "Doonesbury" is fading a bit from the national consciousness. He's still in 600 newspapers, but that number has been higher; there simply aren't as many newspapers as there once were, and their readership is dwindling.

Don't read newspapers? You don't have to miss Doonesbury, every day on Slate.....

I meant to add a bit to the link I posted yesterday to the report about Florida's waters and their continuing deterioration from pollution. The report said algal blooms are forcing fishermen and boaters from Florida's waters, inland and coastal. How true. When I moved to south Florida in 1980, the waters of Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys were still 'gin-clear'. No more. About 10 years ago or so I lost interest in swimming in the Keys because of all the algae. The water was cloudy, not clear, and the bottom covered in gunk. Biscayne Bay was starting to have some cloudy areas, too. This may be one of the main reasons I don't live there any more....without boating and snorkeling, there wasn't much enjoyable to do outdoors. At least now I can swim in sparkling mountain lakes and walk along clear rivers. So far.


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