October 6, 2012
Meet John Doe — a movie directed by Frank Capra — was released in 1941, yet the opening scenes could easily have been from today.
First, we see a plaque on the outside of a newspaper building extolling the virtues of a free press. A worker comes along and chisels that off with a jackhammer. Then other workers replace the plaque with meaningless tripe about The Bulletin being a “streamlined” newspaper.
The next scene shows newsroom staff being called into the editor’s office to be informed that the new owner is laying them off — 40 people in total.
Newspapers reinventing themselves and cutting back . . . has there ever been a time when the industry wasn’t in turmoil?