Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Do You Know the Importance of a Skypager?

(updated below)

Because that's the only way we're going to be able to learn about the Thrashers from now on. As Monsieur Catalogues reported last night, Mike Knobler--along with dozens of other notable AJC writers--has been sacked for, um, writing for a newspaper that has no money.* Not that any newspaper has money these days...

So first the AJC starts a nation-wide trend by eliminating its book reviews (even the revered Washington Post Book World, edited by the great Michael Dirda, announced its death earlier this year, which is horrible for all sorts of reasons), then kills its original foreign affairs coverage by refusing to send reporters abroad...I think we all knew it was only a matter of time until hockey was offed as well. As I wrote back in December

Since print media outlets like the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Chicago Cubs are failing and will never recover their losses, ever, surely hockey print journalism will be entirely over in about a week. All this means that from now on you people will get the majority of your hockey news from the Chronicle, if at all.

But seriously: Newspapers are dying. It's quite sad, really, but I don't see a way for newspapers to avoid losing money other than slashing their staffs and their scope and coverage, which sort of defeats the whole purpose of having a newspaper. Our own Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which is owned by barbarians who give each other gift-wrapped boxes of their own feces for Christmas, eliminated its book review section to cut costs...deplorable, certainly, but to be fair they were only following the lead of several other newspapers around US America. I wonder how long it will be before they eliminate their (quite good, in my opinion) hockey coverage?

I mean, in Atlanta there's probably less interest in hockey than there is in books, which is saying a lot.

I amaze myself sometimes. Now then: You all know what this means; as Mr. Recaps, the proprietor of Thrashers Recaps, said in a comment on Monsieur's post, "Another sign that Thrashers blogs need to be one of the main news sources for the fans!"

UPDATE: One wonders just what will replace normal beat writers in the NHL. If people are content with AP wire reports, I suppose that will be it. But I think most readers enjoy reading a distinctive writing voice and personality from time to time and not merely a "just the facts" wire report. 

I can't help but wonder if hockey teams will employ a new breed of reporter: some kind of "official" blogger/reporter who's paid directly by the organization. That can't be good for independent analysis, right?

*But not without a handsome severance package masquerading as that respectable, nice-making thing, a "buy-out." (That one's for you, Anonymous).


Anonymous said...

Do you know the difference between voluntary buyouts, and being "sacked"?

Mortimer Peacock said...

Do you know the difference between reading things 100% literally and understanding the use of metaphors?

You really are a dull sponge, aren't you?

Anonymous said...

Do you always insult your commentators?

That is a big difference. He wasn't fired, he wasn't sacked, he wasn't kicked out, he wasn't terminated. Which is what you said.

Which is wrong.

Mortimer Peacock said...

"Do you always insult your commentators?"

Not always. Sometimes.

"That is a big difference. He wasn't fired, he wasn't sacked, he wasn't kicked out, he wasn't terminated. Which is what you said.

Which is wrong."

I reiterate my question about being literal-minded, but if you need it spelled out for you: Yes, I know that being fired is different from taking a buy-out. I was using, unsuccessfully I can see, a literary device called exaggeration. I said he was sacked for the offense of writing for a newspaper with no money as a way of (I hoped) humorously casting light on a widespread recognizable situation in God's America: the death of newspapers.

Of course, writing "He was sacked for writing for a newspaper that makes no money" isn't only untrue on a literal level, it's completely nonsensical and absurd. But I generally think highly enough of my readers that they'll understand even rudimentary exaggeration and metaphor and irony.

If this is still unclear, let's open our English Literature textbooks:

When John Keats calls the Grecian Urn "unravished bride of quietness," he doesn't LITERALLY MEAN that an urn, an old and stationary object that can't even consent to marriage, is a virgin bride, much less a bride of "quietness." I mean, how could anything, even an urn, be married to quietness? You can't marry quietness! Which is what Keats said.

Which is wrong.

Anonymous said...

I would tend to believe the exaggeration argument, but you said that he had been "laid off" in your previous post.

Mortimer Peacock said...

"Tend to believe?" What?

You actually think I simply don't know what the word "sacked" means and I'm cowering behind some argument about exaggeration?

Believe what you want, Truther. I can't convince you otherwise.

And I'm not sure what previous post you're referring to. Perhaps Monsieur Catalogues said something about Knobler getting laid off, but he's new to English. You need to be patient about these things.

Big Shooter said...

I think the "laid off" comment came in before we realized he was bought out, and then it was never changed (hey, we don't get paid for this :).

I prefer the term sacked in all cases. Firings, quit, bought out, laid off... sacked should be a universal term! Unless of course it is decided we should use the term shit-canned.

FrenchCatalogues said...

Yeh I did say laid off, but then I did the update as you can see. I posted Knobler's own words to clarify the situation. Hence, the update. Morty and I are two different writers by the way. Yeh, I didn't correct it because I wanted to keep a linear formation of my writing, and I was too lazy. The corrections come later in the piece. Again, hence the update referring to the truth of the matter in regards to the buyout. It's the little things that are fun.

Phil Foley -- Atlanta Thrashers Examiner (Examiner.com) said...

The Thrashers will get a new AJC beat writer.

The question is whether they'll travel much, if at all, with the team.

The trend sucks. The Islanders only have Newsday covering them on the road. The LA Clippers' writers have not traveled to Atlanta the past few years. Tis a sad state in this industry right now.