He doesn't even mention that the "bloggers" offer either simple-minded, backward-thinking, inoffensive opinions about how great things used to be, or veiled advertisements for their small business or professional office. And on that writing -- done for free, thereby devaluing the product of all writers -- will the profit be extracted.
Owner Advance Publications, publisher Laurel Champion and editor Tony Dearing threw away
the institutional memory of the laid-off editorial staff of The Ann Arbor News
, such as it was. This leads to article after article written with a tone of wide-eyed wonder about the most basic elements of Ann Arbor life and politics.
Metro Times - News Views: The newspaper scam
Ann Arbor.com is an appalling pile of crap. And an insult to the intelligence of any functioning adult.
Essentially, it is written for children who are at about the fourth-grade level, possibly, slightly below-average ones. Here's what the top story on Ann Arbor.com was Sunday afternoon: DEXTER PHARMACY DAMAGED IN MINOR FIRE. ("A damage estimate is not yet available. No information was available on when the pharmacy will re-open.")
Not that there isn't a place for that kind of news. However, the real work of journalism is, say, examining how the city council works, spends money, gives out contracts. I would be astonished to see anything like that, ever, on Ann Arbor.com. What makes the website a swindle is that they promise occasional "special reports." (Eat your heart out, Sam Donaldson.) For example, there was one last week.
We learned that — get ready for this — those who fancy child pornography tend "to keep it very hidden" and that most child molesters have child pornography on their computers. They are, a professor at Eastern Michigan University tells us, "looking for things that excite them." Who knew?
What, however, about the printed version that comes out twice a week? The one I examined (July 30) could have been written by a properly programmed computer. We learned, in a hard-hitting lead story, that old people want to hang on to their senior center....
Back in the 1980s, I used to teach a beginning journalism workshop at the University of Michigan. I would take the students to Caro, and have them put out a special supplement to the Tuscola County Advertiser. Their work was largely better than Ann Arbor.com.