Sunday, January 22, 2006

The National Newspaper Association once called the Times of Acadiana one of the best newspapers in the country.

But that was then, and this is now: Fat fuck attempts to eat three-foot sandwich, fails, gets cover story. I think you guys have debased and humiliated that poor paper just about as far as you can, but I've thought that before. Call me Pollyanna.


Blogger Ian McGibboney said...

Can you believe they wouldn't hire me? Did I not hold up to their standards of quality?

1/22/2006 10:32:00 PM  
Blogger Suspect Device said...

You know, a few years ago when I really needed a job after freelancing for a while, I went back to the Times and interviewed (this was when Judy Johnson was still editor, and I didn't know then that she used to villify me by name in staff meetings). The reaction I got from graphics staff was "why do you want to work here? I could go on all frickin' day, man. I loved working there when I worked there; we had a great staff and a great paper. The current TOA reminds me of nothing so much as a bad underground high school zine (Gifts that suck!).

1/23/2006 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger Ian McGibboney said...

"Gifts that suck" is actually a lot better than some of the other stuff they had. Like the Blanco/Nagin cutouts, man? That went on for several issues too long.

But yeah, I think you got their current aesthetic down pat. I truly did like it a few years ago. I find that to be the case in general about Lafayette publications right now. Most of them seem to be in a state of stagnation. Every time I pick one up, I point out several mistakes immediately, and that's when I can stand to read the content. It's frustrating that I can do nothing about it. Oh well. At least I can read the Independent for your cartoon. And the letters never cease to amaze me.

1/23/2006 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Back in the Golden Age (original Times of Acadiana, Cafe 101, Metropolis, Democratic president) before marriage, kids, mortgage, 2 SUV's (I know, I know) and my total suburbinization; when River Ranch was just a gleam in the the eye of those who would Disneyficate our fair city, The Times meant something. It was the only pub that hadn't been coopted by the powers that be. You could count on it to shine a light under the rug and flush out the truth that the other media orgs wouldn't touch with a ten collumn inch advertisement paid up til the end of the month. Now the ToA is pretty weak tea. They even screwed up the club calender, which was the only reason to pick it up anymore. The Ind needs a serious infusion of young, hungry, iconoclastic reporters who don't realize that by doing good, honest reporting that they are screwing up their prospects of ever having another job in this town. At least KRVS is still on the air.

1/23/2006 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger Ian McGibboney said...

The TOA began to suffer once Thomson bought it, and placed the Advertiser's classifieds in the back. It has been accelerated by its increasing lack of autonomy; I heard something about how the Times has only three full-time employees now, if that; the rest divide their time between the Times and the Advertiser.

The Ind once offered me a freelance gig (based on a letter I wrote), but at the time I had a full plate. Now I have an empty plate, but no car. In Lafayette, that's a death sentence, especially for a part-time journalist.

I have issues with every publication, including the Ind (though they're the best right now). Namely, the Bridal Show thing; I think young and expensive marriage should be downplayed, not promoted. Otherwise, I have no real complaints about the Ind.

And Joe, you're absolutely right about being a reporter in this area and job insecurity; since I've (involuntarily) stopped my own gigs, no one wants to touch me. The politics of this town (in every sense) are disgusting.

1/23/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Anonymous longtime reader said...

I remember there being a time when you could read The Times and see the list of a complete, well-rounded staff on page 3 -- political editor, entertainment editor, lifestyle editor, art director, photographer, etc. etc. What do you expect when you've become the unwanted stepbrother of The Daily Advertiser? There's nothing wrong with the occasional fluffball story. Even in it's early days, The Times would run coverstories on where to get the best hamburger or best barbeque. But they ran at around the same time as stories on the oil industry and pedophile priests. Now it's as lighthearted and simple every week as a Hillary Duff movie. I think the late Richard Baudoin would be embarrased as to what The Times, a paper that he helped build, has become.

1/23/2006 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger Ian McGibboney said...

Yes! The (UL) Vermilion used to do the same thing with its entire staff. It had a detailed masthead with a list of editors, writers, cartoonists, designers, business people and even circulation staff. I always prefer papers that have that, because it says to me that these people form a trustworthy source of information. Then a new editor took charge, and removed everyone but the editors. Not so coincidentally, the quality of the paper began to slide and there was lots of staff turnover. The reason they did it, they said, was because the Advertiser does it that way. Well, how's that for role modeling?

The Times was THE cultural publication for so long. That wasn't fluff; it was good stuff that didn't need the edge that its investigative reporting did. But I'm tired of reading only good news (or what they think is comforting; I personally find that debatable). In any case, the glory days of Lafayette journalism seem to have passed, or at least be on hiatus. I may not be sticking around long enough to find out.

1/23/2006 09:05:00 PM  

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