When I was reporting my last series of stories for the Naples Daily News before heading off to get my master’s degree at the University of Alabama, I was put on a plane to Ann Arbor, Mich., to report on the closing of Ave Maria’s Law School.
I fell in love.
The city is green and beautiful, filled with rolling hills, pathways, lakes and one of the coolest, most unique downtowns I’ve ever seen. And of course, the University of Michigan is no slouch of a school (unless they’re facing Appalachian State!).
After picking up daily copies of the Ann Arbor News, I was sure I’d found my new dream home. I’d graduate from Alabama, and my husband and I would get great jobs at the newspaper with a cool adjunct teaching gig on the side.
Alas, those dreams were dashed today as the Ann Arbor News put out its final paper.
This is yet another in a string of good newspaper substantially reducing staff and heading online only. (The brand new AnnArbor.com will launch tomorrow.)
Laurel Champion, the now-former publisher of The News, uttered the harsh truth: “Putting out a daily print newspaper in this market is not a sustainable business.”
As I sat here attempting to wade through what must be a 40- or 50-inch story on the computer, I experienced a quick run-through of the stages of grief.
Denial: No, this cannot be the end of print journalism; the end of the long investigative piece; the end of long, lazy mornings in bed sifting through a bulging paper. SOMEONE will put a stop to this madness. It can’t be too late!
Anger: How lazy is our society that we have allowed this to happen? What is wrong with my generation? Are we too busy and self-absorbed to care about what is going on in the world?
Bargaining: Can’t we just have a little more time? My parents and grandparents got to grow old with the newspaper. Why can’t it be the same for me?
Depression: It’s the beginning of the end of intelligent society. Soon we will have corrupt officials running amok, those in need of justice denied and a generation of ill-informed idiots running the country.
Acceptance: Journalism will survive. Different doesn’t mean dead. We need the news, and we’ll make it through, even when all the printing presses are put to bed.
It’ll be okay.