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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Vulgarians

I was reading the Toronto Sun Family blog and discovered this link to a Harold Evans interview by John Barber of The Globe and Mail.

Evans was the brilliant editor of The Sunday Times from 1967 to 1981. What does he think of the present cutbacks throughout the newspaper industry? Let me quote a few lines from the interview:
. . . Mr. Evans is scathing about contemporary papers that “lose their nerve” in response to tough times, especially by cutting editorial content, “the most stupid thing you can do.”
That strategy helped to lead the once-mighty Tribune Company, publisher of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, into bankruptcy last year, part of a wave that has also immersed The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, The Orange County Register in California, the Chicago Sun-Times and The Star Tribune of Minneapolis.
Piecemeal cutting destroys integrity as surely as political interference, according to Mr. Evans. “There's no advertising to support the sports page,” he notes. “You won't dream of dropping the sports section, but they drop the book section. Why? Because they're vulgarians. Seriously. It's so shortsighted.”
Shortsighted? They're downright myopic in their lack of foresight.

And please note that "anonymous sub-editors (called copy editors in North America) merit long passages of lavish praise" in Evans' new book, My Paper Chase. These positions are some of the first to be slashed by today's newspaper owners.

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