It took 16 pages for the Courant to get around to reporting on its next giant step into the abyss. (That’s like placing a major story between weather and the commercial break in a newscast.) It was in the business section, because, after all, it’s business.
It was a “Courant Staff Report,” no byline. Cold. And was there was a gag order on the survivors? No goodbyes to the Pazniokas’s and the Grants from Helen Ubiñas in her column. No tip of the hat to Matt Eagan from Paul Doyle on the sports page. Thanks for playing, and good luck!
If you’re wondering, I don’t know any of those people, though I have had minimal contact with one or two. (Most of my Courant amigos have either been laid off or retired. Experience and institutional memory can be expensive, you know.)
But I feel as if I know them. Because I read the words they write every day, and good writing comes from within. (Aaaaargh!!! The Bee Gees song “Words” just popped into my head!!! Damn, damn, damn!)
Without original local reporting and writing, the Courant means nothing to me. And with each round of cutbacks, it means less and less. I’ve already seen the rest of what’s in the paper the night before, on our own newscasts and on the wire.
I feel for those who have lost their jobs, I feel for those who have watched their colleagues lose their jobs, I feel for us, and I feel for Connecticut. Because every city, every region, is defined, in part, by its newspaper.
I don’t know of any city that’s defined by a web site. And despite how quickly things are changing, I don’t believe I ever will.