I never worked for the New York Times, Washington Post or any other newspaper of any significant circulation. I was a writer/editor for several weeklies and small dailies in Indiana and West Virginia, covering the stuff down the street rather than Capitol Hill or Madison Square Garden. I was a good writer and copy editor, but not outstanding (or connected) enough to break into the big leagues.
By the time I got into the game in the early 90's, newspaper companies were consuming each other and squeezing the life out of their pressrooms and newsrooms. The advent of Macs, Adobe and Quark should have ushered in a Golden Age of newspaper composition, but the real effect was to allow corporate managers run all of the honest-to-God printers out of the business and shift their work to guys like me, who were paginators as much as reporters.
Once the press room was slashed to the bone, the bosses turned to the newsroom.
The information explosion of the mid-90s (cable, internet and the like) sucked away readers from newspapers. The lagging circulation numbers allowed them to start squeezing on guys like me in order to maintain their 20 percent margins every year. Fuller Brush men posing as news consultants told the bosses what they wanted to hear: readers want smaller news holes filled with canned crap that is much cheaper than good old fashioned news reporters.
By the early part of this brave new millenium, the big papers were only looking for bright college kids who would not use the company's insurance or stay beyond a year or two; guys like me who have kids and wives and mortgages are likely to stay put, so we don't get interviews anymore.
I am lucky, however, as I can blog about whatever I want, whenever I want, and not have to worry about finding someone else to publish my rantings. Check back from time to time to get my questionable insights about movies, music, sports, politics and our Godforsaken national news media.