Not Your Father’s Newspaper
Once upon a time, the Star Tribune Op-Ed page was a must-read forum where Twin Cities leaders aired and exchanged ideas (including a couple pieces contributed by yours truly).
As advertising migrated online and newspapers began their epic decline, the Star Tribune Op-Ed page instead became a forum for recycled opinion pieces first published by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other leading national publications.
Sometimes with as much as a two-week lag (ouch!).
Even with that downward trajectory in mind, it was a shock to pick up today’s Star Trib Op-Ed page — from the flagship Sunday edition, no less — and find . . . practically nothing.
To be specific, a bland house editorial, a bunch of letters to the editor, and what looked like an article that got lost and wound up in the wrong section of the paper.
Steak & Potatoes vs. . . . Popcorn??
To be sure, other forums have popped up to take the Star Trib’s place; I’d hardly says there’s a vacuum of online content.
But, there’s a difference between “checking in” to Facebook–type social chatter, and chewing on big, challenging ideas.
And while industry-killer Google (“Don’t be evil”) and its ubiquitous search engine have contributed a great deal to modern culture — how’d you find this post, hmm?? — it has also taken away something that isn’t likely to be soon replaced.