Once upon a time, St. Louis had two major dailies: the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Globe was the conservative newspaper. It’s where Pat Buchanan got his start. The Post was the liberal paper. Then the Globe folded, leaving St. Louis with only the lefty paper.
Since then, the quality of the Post has dropped precipitously. It is now a very bad paper with lousy writing, absent-minded editing, and incomplete coverage. Facts are missed. Stories have holes. Most infuriating, though, the paper simple doesn’t cover news.
Yesterday, I found myself stranded at Starbuck’s for an hour. I bought a print edition of the New York Times. As much as I despise that paper, its smell, the rough pages in my hands, the font, the words flowing into sentences forming paragraphs and revealing stories was heaven.
While NYT may be completely out of touch, at least it still reads like a real newspaper. For anyone living in a town with just one terrible paper, the appreciation is almost overwhelming.
Still, the NYT has a problem with the truth. As reported on Wizbang, Michelle Malkin, and other sites, the Baby 81 story–a New York Times exclusive–was a hoax. How many hoaxes or fabrications can one newspaper succumb to?
Which leads me to my questions: are major dailies dead? Do they serve any purpose? Is quality newspaper production economically infeasible? And, finally, what would it take to start and operate a good, profitable city daily?