Monday, July 14, 2008
Taking a Fall for Journalism
Two more newspaper executives fell on their swords Monday in the name of maintaining journalistic principles. Los Angeles Times publisher David Hiller resigned, as did Ann Marie Lipinski, editor of the Chicago Tribune. In a gross understatement reported on Romenesko, Lipinski said "the positioin was not the fit it once was." Hiller said, "Sam's the boss and he gets to pick his own quarterback." Ya think?
Now, it's highly likely that these two left minutes before Zell showed them the door. But you have to admire folks who state unequivocally, "Enough." Or as we like to say in Spanish, and which frankly sounds a heckuva lot better, "Basta!"
The Los Angeles Times, in particular, has a history of attracting people who will not reduce the paper to pulp. They would rather quit than slice and dice. It must be something in the smog that creates these converts.
Now let's not kid ourselves. The resignations aren't going to make a difference in the long term. The Times will become a smaller paper, with a narrower vision and a thinner staff. Still, it is impressive that folks feel so strongly about their paper -- that folks love their paper so -- that they would rather take a fall than do the unthinkable.
Naturally, that got me thinking: Is there anyone at the Orlando Sentinel who would follow that route? Who knows the meaning of that type of honor or principle? Would Charlotte Hall go down for the Orlando Sentinel?
I know, I know. Basta! Ain't gonna happen.