June 2, 2008

The Incredible Shrinking Newspaper

The Bee has been shrinking ever since I moved to Sacramento 20 years ago, but lately the trend has been accelerating. The Real Estate section long ago converted to advertising, and more recently the Car section. Awhile back the ratio of text to white space was reduced. Yesterday I read that the width will be reduced again, and another merger of sections is coming, Metro & Business this time. Only the Sports section seems to be immune. (I think the Bee should just put news about Iraq and the primaries in the Sports section, so there would be more room for actual news, in the sense of something you couldn't have predicted.)

But my biggest concern is about local news. State, national, and world news can be found elsewhere. Yes, we do have other local sources such as the News & Review, and neighborhood association newsletters, but nothing as frequent or complete as the Bee has been. And TV news isn't really news, it's just breathless.

How can Sacramento be a community unless Sacramentans know what's going on in their city? I think the city council should consider using eminent domain to take over the Bee. We could have a nonprofit community-owned newspaper, and make our own news.

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