Wednesday, May 21, 2003

New Paper of Record? Odd, but I was going to write about this. Jeremy Lott beat me to it. I have no problem giving the title to USA Today. Let me spend a moment answering Lott's objections to his own suggestion.

USA Today's 5-day format makes it too "lightweight." The Wall Street Journal is a weekday paper, and WSJ is a paper of record in it's own right.

The op-ed page is "anemic." Amen. Part of the problem with the Times is it's crusader image, believing its own propaganda. When a USA Today editorial takes a stand on an issue, the adjacent column almost always offers a contrary opinion. Besides, opinion journalism in big media is, as the blogger's lament goes, an echo chamber. Op-ed is one part of a paper that could stand to be cut back.

Arts coverage is slim. Yeah. And pedestrian. More American Idol, anyone? There's no getting around this objection. Not to sound snobbish, but raising the quality of the arts section is not something that will play in Peoria.

I'll still give my vote to the WSJ, but USA Today is a paper I thoroughly enjoy. It is McPaper, by analogy the news equivalent of McDonalds. But when was the last time you didn't enjoy McDonalds?

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