Michael Kinsley may not live in Los Angeles anymore — okay, maybe he never really lived in Los Angeles– but he’ll always be part of the FishbowlLA family. We’ll never forget the times we had together. As such, we hereby draw your attention to his WaPo piece today, one of the wittier and more perceptive takes on the decline of print newspapers that we’ve seen:
The trouble even an established customer will take to obtain a newspaper continues to shrink, as well. Once, I would drive across town if necessary. Today, I open the front door and if the paper isn’t within about 10 feet I retreat to my computer and read it online. Only six months ago, that figure was 20 feet. Extrapolating, they will have to bring it to me in bed by the end of the year and read it to me out loud by the second quarter of 2007.
No one knows how all this will play out. But it is hard to believe that there will be room in the economy for delivering news by the Rube Goldberg process described above. That doesn’t mean newspapers are toast. After all, they’ve got the brand names. You gotta trust something called the “Post-Intelligencer” more than something called “Yahoo” or “Google,” don’t you? No, seriously, don’t you? Okay, how old did you say you are?
If Kinsley had been writing this engagingly when he was here at the LAT, then, well, he’d probably still be gone. So never mind.