After expending a great deal of time and effort begging its increasingly meager reader base to “Go deeper with digital,” the failing local newspaper has done an about face — at least for Thanksgiving. The anorexic daily, skinny and wan, has done its damnedest to veer away from hard copy publications requiring newsprint, ink, delivery drivers and editions hitting driveways — though fewer do these days.
Gannett execs offered generous bonuses to longtime employees just to get them out the door and lower their overhead, replacing them with ASU students, who have no idea what actual journalism is and not even a passing familiarity with the First Amendment. Editors are gone, so the news reports are filled with teen colloquialisms and Snoopy-like, “It was a dark and stormy night” approaches. Pertinent details are missing and, let’s face it, the once towering beacon of reliable standards now does little more than dole out leftist, agendized spew with a hefty side of food news, sports and entertainment, aimed at a nearly nonexistent audience. The internet has replaced stale hard copy with fresh up-to-the minute reports.
For the holiday, however, the aptly nicknamed Arizona Repugnant promises “Another Thanksgiving Tradition: The Giant Newspaper!” A screaming headline blares, “It’s almost time for our BIGGEST paper of the year including inspiring stories, your holiday gift guide, things to do for the long weekend, last minute turkey tips and the GIANT crossword puzzle. Plus, all the details on the weekend’s sports scene and up to 100 inserts full of deals.”
You can, if so inclined, pick up this gargantuan bunch of dead tree pulp “as an early bird copy at your favorite store,” they advise. “Or, if you subscribe, we’ll bring it to you Thanksgiving morning.”
That sounds like more of a threat than a promise.