By TOM HONIG
This morning I made my usual journey through the day's news -- reaching for the iPad while still in bed, nosing my way through Google news, Politico, the latest stock prices and the like. Not an unusual morning for most of us -- us ADD news consumers who look over dozens and even scores of headlines in search of, what, maybe two articles that interest us enough to actually read all the way through.
I almost forgot. I also happened on a mildly amusing video of Jimmy Fallon (or was it Jimmy Kimmel?) imagining a phone call between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin. And then there's the obligatory glance at Facebook to see what my lefty friends think is important today.
Such is the state of news consumption. One would think that this former print newspaper editor would be more in-depth, more thoughtful than that. One would imagine a retired former editor ambling to the curb to pick up his morning Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
No. Like much of our culture, I've joined the quick and dirty crowd, reaching out into the webosphere for whatever meanders in my direction. Disclosure: I do receive The Wall Street Journal online (as a retiree of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, a one-time member of the Dow Jones family, I get it gratis) and I actually pay for The New York Times.
But like most folks, I'm not a devotee of one publication or one news organization. Call it fear of commitment.
So it felt like a trip down memory lane yesterday when I went to lunch alone except for two print newspapers -- The Journal and the Sentinel. A depressing journey.
For those paying attention, the Sentinel is in the early stage of a "new look" -- brighter, more colorful and, chiefly, cheaper to produce. Like its many sister newspapers all over California, it's now produced elsewhere, with local reporters here and production people toiling away at desktop computers in Chico.
The less said about the new look the better. But at least it stilll has some good local content, especially considering the small staff now out trying to cover the news.
But even more depressing was something I saw in The Wall Street Journal: a misspelling in a headline. (Prairie without the first "i"). Yikes! Yes, I've committed such an error in my time, but I have never -- ever -- seen such a misstep in the Journal.
It's probably not fair to form a conclusion based on just two observations. But times are changing and the extra care that goes into preparing a good print publication is a luxury no longer possible in a fast-moving, "read-it now" and "see it now" world.
What's the impact? Stay tuned.