Saturday, September 27, 2008


So, this is the Hartford Courant revolution. A sideways masthead. First in the country. Oh, oh, my knees are shaking.

It's important not to jump to conclusions, but it appears, already, that the Hartford Courant makeover will include a few things that will make it less a newspaper, and more a print promo for its website.

Reader comments at the top of page one. Are you kidding? A one-liner from the comment section? Is that news or is that pandering?

The masthead itself, running along the left margin (it's in the "gutter"), will turn the corner with a bold ".com." Oh gosh, is that off the hinges, or what?

Big pictures on page one! Why not all pictures, and appeal to even the illiterate?

International news and national news will be digested, and spit out as a condensed "brief," because we can get that news elsewhere (in fact, we'll probably be able to get most of the "news" in the new Courant, elsewhere).

Breaking news relegated to the website. A website, I'll admit I use regularly, and am regularly frustrated with as I search, and search, and search for opinion columns and news.

There will, inevitably, be less news. Certainly less local news (and that hardly seems possibly - because less than "precious little" would be - "next to nothing?")

And, BTW, the video clip of the "exclusive, sneak peek" at the new Courant was broadcast on Fox 61, owned by the Tribune Corporation, the parent of the Courant. It's not a news story but a PR puff piece. It seems that when the Courant has news of its own, it will either bury it (as in any specific notice of employee layoffs and departures), or it will provide it to its own media outlets first. I can hear the howls if Jodi Rell gave an exclusive on a new state program to a single media outlet.

Let's see if the Courant will report on its declining circulation once the "new" Courant hits the streets.

This is not a makeover, it's a senior citizen with dementia sitting in bed at a nursing home wearing a G Unit hoodie, and Akademiks baggies and a SoCal cap. Print that on your masthead.

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