There has been talk for a number of years that the daily newspaper was dinosaur, on its last leg as a viable news source ... and as a business. The internet had grown stronger in recent years as a alternative to it; and with the growth of high speed internet, download speeds had increased to a point where pictures and pages of data could be viewed in real time. With the recent introduction of the Ipad (and soon the competing unit from Google) even the issue of portability and convenience will no longer be an issue. The were only a couple of real questions left to daily newspaper organizations as their printing presses wind gradually down to a stop:
- Will some part of these corporations survive, utilizing their ability to gather news while finding a way to use the web in some way as both revenue source and distribution mode?
- More importantly, as these final days wind themselves down, with what dignity will these ancient and venerable businesses be able to end their days?
- Since the Blade has long been a newspaper supporting Democratic candidates, why didn't they make greater efforts to show at least a perception of neutrality in news coverage of an internal Republican issue?
- Once discovering that they possessed Mr Simpson's property, and having been asked for its return by him in a face-to-face meeting, why did they not do so? (Even if they chose to make a copy of such property for their own record and for the purposes of the story.)
- For the record, we might also want to ask why Mr. Simpson (a lawyer) didn't make a greater effort to gain the return of his property once he discovered it was in the possession of the newspaper.
- Knowing of the personal relationship between the publisher (John Robinson Block) of the Blade and the other person claiming to be head of the LCRP (Jon Stainbrook), why didn't they take greater pains to try and show strict journalistic integrity in its treatment of the parties involved?
- If this story were of such great import and these notes so important, why was it that the story was published on a Saturday, traditionally the least read newspaper of the week?
- Maybe most importantly ... Would there have been a story here at all if this were about the publisher's friend (a person long known for Machiavellian plots and regular use of the legal system) and not Mr Simpson?
This effort by the Blade does nothing to enhance its own reputation, that of the daily newspaper, or that of Toledo. It does however, beg a question of daily newspapers in general, and the Blade in particular. Will they choose to go out gracefully as yet one more example of the dinosaurs that most daily newspapers in this country have become, or like the thief and rodent that they appear to have become in this instance ... a weasel?