Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Ann Arbor News shrinking

17. November 2008 • Bruce Fields
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Mary Morgan at the Chronicle reported last week that “Buyouts Hit The Ann Arbor News“:

This morning, management at The News and all seven other newspapers owned by the Newhouse family in Michigan announced a massive round of buyouts and plans to consolidate some operations in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.

No longer breaking news (and probably not a great surprise), but worth a discussion thread.

  1. And I know not everyone here’s a fan of the News, but it’s pretty unfortunate if it turns out we’re not able to support a good local daily newspaper.

       —Bruce Fields    Nov. 17 '08 - 03:21AM    #
  2. The Christian Science Monitor stops printing news. The Ann Arbor News cuts staff. While I have my gripes about the News and my appreciation of news on the net, I think professional print journalism is hard and I’m not convinced we’ve figured out how to replace with online technologies. Even if the content is the same, I read the paper in a different way than I read blogs.

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Nov. 17 '08 - 05:29AM    #
  3. The Ann Arbor Chronicle is not a blog. It is an online newspaper, and covers events comprehensively and without prejudice. You should read it before you compare it to a “blog” which is simply a bunch of us and our opinions, sometimes erudite (such as mine) and sometimes uninformed (which is everybody else’s).
    :-) (I assume you all got that was a joke?)

       —Leah Gunn    Nov. 17 '08 - 07:20AM    #
  4. There’s a new Ypsi online newspaper, the Ypsilanti Citizen, at

       —Edward Vielmetti    Nov. 17 '08 - 08:17AM    #
  5. I think I know what Chuck is getting at. I stare at a screen all day, and it’s a screen full of distractions I usually enjoy and value. But the experience of starting coffee, getting the paper, and reading it before checking email means the information reaches me in a different state, with different priorities and concerns.

       —Matt    Nov. 17 '08 - 08:19AM    #
  6. It’s not the only paper shrinking: the Chelsea/Dexter papers just cut their staff. It’s on a smaller scale, but it would be just as unfortunate if small papers like those start dying.

       —Burrill    Nov. 18 '08 - 10:43AM    #
  7. I think Rupert Murdoch’s speech will be an interesting read.

    Murdoch continued: “Mr. Rather and his defenders are not alone. A recent American study reported that many editors and reporters simply do not trust their readers to make good decisions. Let’s be clear about what this means. This is a polite way of saying that these editors and reporters think their readers are too stupid to think for themselves.

    Readership is down because there is no serious investigative reporting. News could have really done some investigative reporting which would have brought many readers to their fold. For example, Melvin Claxton (Pulitzer prize winning reporter) did an investigative report about a court case in Judge Archie Brown’s court room for Detroit News – that newspaper sold in large numbers because there was some real reporting!. There is enough material to report if Ann Arbor News is willing to look into the crap that runs in the court house. As long as the editors and reporters think that they don’t need to do investigative reporting, their fate will be – go down the tube one of these days.


       —Srini    Nov. 19 '08 - 07:13AM    #
  8. Re Post#7: Actually, the Virgin Islands Daily News won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for meritorious service based upon a series exposing judicial corruption that was based largely on the investigative work of chief reporter Melvin Claxton. Melvin had to relocate out of the Virgin Islands due to threats against him following the publishing of his team’s journalistic work. This series of articles led to reforms in the government of the Virgin Islands. Regarding “the crap that runs in the court house”, I am assuming you do not include the fine jurists of the Ann Arbor 15th Judicial District Court in that analysis. I recently spoke with a reporter that recently left the Ann Arbor News and was told that time and economic restraints have led to a sharp reduction in investigative reporting at that paper. You are correct in asserting that Mr. Claxton is a fine and dedicated reporter.

       —Mark Koroi    Nov. 19 '08 - 10:38AM    #