Feb 10, 2006

Dark Days Ahead For The Blade?


(Toledo, OH) The decision by John Robinson Block to close the Toledo Blade's Washington bureau was sad, but not unexpected. The paper has been bleeding red ink for several years, and Block's move will reduce the bleeding.

For now.

One of the best parts of the Blade was its Washington coverage, and the DC crew were integral in developing the Pulitzer Pize winning "Tiger Force" series.

"It all began in our Washington Bureau," said Michael Sallah, investigations editor at the Miami Herald and a former Blade reporter. "That's what later [won] the Pulitzer Prize."

Toledoans will now have to rely on the Blade's ability to parse together stories from wire services and the occasional stringer. Heck, I can do the cut-and-past from the wire services on my blog just as well as the Blade. I suspect that this short-term move in response to losses will have long-term consequences on the Blade's readership, and that its slow decline in circulation numbers will take another spike downward.


Anonymous said...

No way can they call themselves "One of America's Great Newspapers."

Stephanie said...

Is the Blade one of the papers you're published in, Mike?

Anonymous said...

People like to kick around the Blade (the publisher and editorial board deserve every kicked delivered unto them).

But you really have to admire that dogged group of reporters. If you ever talk to these guys, you find out they take their journalism seriously, are honorable, talented, and really enjoy what they're doing.

The only time they really look bad is when the devil-incarnate that owns them forces them to undertake one of his petty vendettas.

I just ignore the editorial page and love the Blade.

historymike said...

Don't get me wrong, anonymous. The Blade has some incredibly talented writers. Here's a few off the top of my head: James Dew, Mike Wilkinson, Joe Mahr, Ignzaio Messina, Robin Erb, Julie McKinnon, Jim Provance, Ryan Smith, Ckyde Hughes...the list goes on and on.

My point was that the folding up of the DC Bureau relegates the Blade from "one of America's Great Papers" to a second-tier outfit.

The DC Bureau was the stamp of approval that the Blade was, indeed, a major American newspaper.

And no, Stephanie, I have never worked at the Blade. We have an ongoing feud over some crtical columns I wrote about their editors.

I'd have as much chance of being hired by the Blade as would Michelle Malkin over at Mother Jones.

Anonymous said...

anonymous -- I agree with you. Mike Sallah and Joe Mahr are some of the best people and reporters that you'll ever meet. I tend to not like the editorial section either, but I think that their investigative work is top-notch.

liberal_dem said...

The writers of our Constitution were most confident that an active and rigorous press would help insure that no elected official of our new government would dare to usurp his alloted powers while in office.

They had realized the importance of the crude printing presses of the insurgent colonists in their battle with the English crown, and they wanted this same press to be able to carefully watch our new government so that it would remain righteous.

I find it sadly humorous that there are calls to shut down newspapers in America from people who do not know the power of the press in regulating our republic. These calls are merely the famous 'ditto heads' who mouth every word spoken to them by their favorite propagandists, most often in the right-wing radio media.

Damn the media for exposing political corruption! Ironically these same victims of propaganda berate liberals as 'communists' when, in fact, communist regimes all across the world are strict censors of their media.

You can't have it both ways, although scoundrels frequently love to play with double-burning candles.

Stephanie said...

"Damn the media for exposing political corruption!"

As long as they stick to the truth, I have no problem with exposing political corruption. It's when they make stuff up to support their agendas (and yes, papers like most businesses do have agendas) that I have a problem with it.

Oh, and those stupid grocery store non-news things. Why do people even buy those?

Stephanie said...

"I'd have as much chance of being hired by the Blade as would Michelle Malkin over at Mother Jones."

Wow. You on the same level as Michelle Malkin in anything just floors me. You, rougue, you!

Anonymous said...

The Blade has not always been the champions of truth.

One only has to recall what they did to the port authority, Jim Brennan, and UT over the last ten years. Those stories were riddled with inaccuracies known to the reporters and the editors.

Those were all vendettas of the twisted mind of the publisher who is the only person alive I would characterize as "pure evil".

BTW, I don't think Sallah or Mahr are there anymore.

historymike said...

Sallah is now the investigative editor at the Miami Herald, and Mahr is with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

-Sepp said...

I'll go out on a limb here and say that maybe...just maybe if the blade spent less time trying to jam it's twisted agenda down the throats of Toledoans and just stuck to reporting the news, it's circulation may go up. On top of that, the blade carries far too much dead weight in the form of reporters who author maybe one side story per year and still manage to siphon a full paycheck.

Hooda Thunkit said...

"Heck, I can do the cut-and-past from the wire services on my blog just as well as the Blade."

Yeah Mike, you could, but you wouldn't.

THAT's the difference...

While you have standards, the Blade, or, more correctly, the Blade's publisher, long ago abandoned his for his own petty and vindictive purposes.