Thursday, September 20, 2007

Gray Lady Down

Not that anyone else probably cares, but I am rather pissed at the New York Times because someone within that vaunted news organization has decided the Capital Region (Albany and environs) isn't deserving of regular delivery and/or availability. Twice in the past 30 days, including this week, there were no copies available here in southern Saratoga County. It's not like we're a thousand miles away. Hey, New York City is a little over two hours by car.

The last time this happened, I spent a couple of hours driving around looking for a copy. I finally found a vendor who gave me the phone number for the local distributor. A call to them gave me the information I had been looking for: the drivers from the Times were late getting papers to the distributor in Albany. By the time the Times truck arrived, the distributor's drivers already had left with other newspapers. A sympathetic secretary sold me my own (exclusive?) copy, telling me all the while that hundreds of copies would simply sit in her warehouse because she wouldn't be calling back the trucks to pick them up.

Now I know some will say, "Hey, just read it online." Well, until Tuesday, the Times wasn't available online except by subscription. Besides, I am one of the few who still enjoys holding a real newspaper in my hands. And if you can believe all the latest research about electromagnetic radiation via computers and electric clock radios, well, I feel infinitely safer with a paper copy in hand.

I did write a terse note both times to the president of the New York Times Company. I haven't received a reply from either e-mail, so my guess is Mr. Heekin-Canedy simply doesn't care that his newspaper isn't often available in the capital of New York State. And yet I read all the time how newspaper executives are worried about the future of their business. Maybe all the doom and gloom is simply a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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