Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Dave Kindred's "Morning Miracle" About the Washington Post Without the Sugar Coating...

But Maybe A Dollop of Empty Nostalgia Instead

I'm looking forward to getting my mitts on Dave Kindred's book "Morning Miracle," his paean to the Washington Post subtitled "A Great Newspaper Fights for Its Life."
Indeed, it's not the paper it once was. Then again, no paper is.
The book, which hits stores July 20, was favorably reviewed in the Post yesterday by American Journalism Review editor Rem Rieder.
Rieder affirmed this was a book worth reading for lapsed news scribes like myself, or anyone who gives a damn about what happened to journalism and what can still be done to right the ship.
The only troubling note was a sentence Rieder quoted, where Kindred waxes: "I love the smell of newsprint in the morning, and my favorite time of day is thirty minutes to deadline."
First off, when's the last time Kindred smelled newsprint? The Post and most other papers are printed on offset presses that produce smudge-free papers. Long gone are the days when you had to wash your hands or wear gloves after reading the Post or Times.
As a cub at the UPI Albany bureau, I would go down to the mailroom as the Times-Union was coming off the presses and got a few copies to take up to the bureau. I don't remember much of a smell. What I savored was the crisp, folded paper in my, yes, smudged hands. A morning miracle indeed, or at least an 11:15 p.m. miracle when the T-U's bulldog edition came out. But a smell? Meh.
Still, Kindred remains a print guy through and through. In that sense we are, um, kindred spirits, and I'm sure to soak up his dispatches from the front of what is hopefully a winnable war, at least in D.C.

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