In August of this year, a Chicago Sun-Times writer thought that he need to keep up with the times. Jay Mariotti's two word e-mail (I quit!) have send a fury of criticism from the realm of print. One of the criticism's came from a Chicago Sun-Times veteran, Roger Ebert, who made sure that Mariotti departure was definetly lacking class. In his letter to Mariotti, Ebert had stated things that I was a little confused about. Ebert stated:
Times are hard in the newspaper business, and for the economy as a whole. Did you only sign on for the luxury cruise?
Do newpaper reporters really have that much of a budget, to send them anywhere on the globe? Let's look at the salary itself. It would be presumptuous of me to know how much Mariotti made from writing at the Sun-Times. However, let's say that I had been writing for a Chicago newspaper for 17 years, I could make around $49,000 annually.
Prior agreement may change that figure so it may not be that way in the end. A news report on television makes about $10,000 more.
So maybe the newspapers allow their reporters to go around the world. Yes and No. Yes, we see newspaper reporter travel the globe, but you won't see a Sun-Times reporter leave Chicago very often. Most newspaper and online outlets get there news from the Associated Press. Newspaper usually get the information, especially on world events, from them.
Mariotti noticed how newspapers did not get enough coverage into the Beijing Olympics. He convinced himself that it was a dying medium. But is it, really? At the Unversity of Hartford in 1991, there will be a lot of factors that lead to the decline of readership. One of the major factor is competion from other media due to technology. However, technology also saved the newspaper the same fate as the VHS.
If the death of the newspaper was eminent, then why did so many people reacted to the thing that Mariotti wrote. As a sport writer, he was always trading jabs with local sports figures like Ozzie Guillen. The fact that Guillen loved Mariotti's downfall made him enjoy every last second of this situation. The problem between these two became so bad that he used a homosexual slur to describe him. Marriotti had put gas in the flames by basically enciting his collegues to rip into Guillen.
Is this what we become? We rather watch a 7 sec sound bite than study a well-written article. I think that Mariotti had quit for personal reasons and not to wake everyone up from the depths of print extinction. In the world of sports, politics, and national news the print world could be a viable medium. National newspapers like the New York Times, are going online, but tradition is still strong by printing it on paper.