Posted by: furmanbisher | April 30, 2009

The Drying of the Dixie Dew

Since the newsiest happening around here has been the AJC’s change of face, I’m catching all sorts of interrogation. It’s not whether or not it’s catching on, but why? It would seem that it shouldn’t be all about how a paper looks, but its content. The writing. The editing. How and where stories are located in the layout. It’s that new bilious sickly green background that is hard to explain.

I’m a man who spent the most rewarding years of his newspaper life with The Atlanta Journal—remember “Covers Dixie Like the Dew?” one of the great captions of all time—so maybe I’m just hard to please.

But improving readership can’t be done with a watered-down staff, and it’s not a case of trying to make the Sunday paper the big payout. I can’t see where it is going from here, but I do say that I’m afraid this city’s formative readers are not going to buy into this production, which at times reminds me of something you’d find in a C-rated movie about some small backwoods town.

But, that’s just one man’s point of view.

Something else I miss: We have serenaded the new neighbor in Gwinnett County, the Braves’ farm club. We get very little of it in our sports section beyond a small blurb about last night’s game. It should be covered with a box score, the standing in the league (never identified), which is the International, and some insightful reporting on which of these athletes we can expect to be seeing in Braves clothes before long.

I may have written this before: That the story of a baseball game without a box score is like sex without a kiss. I can live with the box score alone. That shows me all I need to see, but we need much more than we’re getting. Guess I’m going to have to go out there and see for myself.



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