With the Baltimore Examiner on the way out, where are we supposed to get our news now? the b? The Examiner may have been an object of derision among people looking for more than shallow sips of news, and from people adverse to a paper with a right-wing slant, but it brought some important things to the table in Baltimore.
For one thing, it brought another voice to a competition-starved market. For another, it offered job opportunities to relatively inexperienced writers and photographers. Unlike the Sun, it was a place where a Baltimore kid with a college degree and some experience in writing could get a job.
To get hired at the Sun, you have to be a journalism school grad, and you have to have already worked at a daily newspaper; and it helps if you’re not from Baltimore. With the death of the Exam, there going to be a lot of writers, editors, and photographers looking for jobs – and there are going to be fewer job oppotunities for bright young Baltimorians.
Things we’ll miss:
Though it’s been gone for a few months, we suppose this will mark a definitive end to the momentometer (pronounced moment-ah-mitter). This was the inexplicable, totally unscientific little graphic that the Exam ran on its “National Politics” page throughout the 2008 election cycle. Some days Hillary would have a blue arrow, pointing up; some days, McCain would get an orange arrow, pointing Northeast; sometimes Obama would get a yellow arrow pointing Southwest. The source of the momentometer’s whim went uniformly unattributed. We laughed at you every day, momentometer, and we’re going to miss you.
The Exam welcomed old Sun columnists – both the shamed (Olesker) and the heralded (Kane) — that we were all glad to see in print again. Where do those guys take their ideas and observations now? We were glad to read old Olesker again, even though some of us are still hurt by his misappropriation of phrases and ideas. (It was plagiarism, Michael – look up the definition in any university handbook.)
The real question today is, Where will we get our news? The Sun is ever-shrinking, even while it pours thousands into its patently retarded, pandering tween publication, “the b.” The Examiner was a cool, but short-lived idea. The City Paper has been doing rock-solid reporting for years, but it’s chock full of sex ads and – gasp – people with tattoos; that is, it’s an alternative weekly, and won’t ever serve a wide audience. The TV news is, well, TV news. What we’re left with is a tiny, ever-dwindling sliver of local news. It’s easy to find out what Barack Obama is doing. But who’s going to keep an eye on Jim Smith, Jim Harkins, David Craig, Shelia Dixon, and O’Gov’ner, not to mention the numerous other local government officials across the region?