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As newspapers continue to face hard times, some look back to the days of the well-known columnists who chronicled their cities

Paper Cuts: Diligently plotting the decline of US newspapers

Tweaking the Cable Model, to Avoid Newspapers' Fate

Herb Caen and his city

Caen on capital punishment

Mike Royko

For the Love of Mike

Emmett Watson

The late 1990s and early 2000s were hard times for those who grew up reading daily newspapers in cities like Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco. During these years, the acerbic and insightful commentaries of Mike Royko at the Chicago Tribune, Herb Caen at the San Francisco Chronicle, and Emmett Watson at the Seattle Times disappeared from the paper as all three gentlemen passed away during this period. These men might have been a bit disturbed by a number of recent trends in the newspaper business, including the recent demise of the print version of the once venerable Seattle Post-Intelligencer and the bankruptcy problems faced by the Chicago Sun-Times media group. As Carl Nolte, a Chronicle staff writer, noted in a column this week, "Herb Caen was the voice, the conscience, the civic maestro of a San Francisco that was part reality, part a myth of his own creation." Technological innovations have certainly increased the number of viewpoints available to the average reader, but it remains to be seen whether any of them will have the staying power of these three creative individuals.

The first link will take users to a very compelling entry on the Digital Content weblog created by The Guardian newspaper. This particular entry includes a link to the Paper Cuts website, which details the decline of the newspaper industry in the United States during the past year. The second link will whisk users away to a post on the New York Times "Bits" weblog, which talks about how the cable industry may address the migration of viewers to the Internet. Moving on, the third link leads to the recent piece on Caen written by Carl Nolte for the San Francisco Chronicle. The fourth link leads to a column that Caen wrote about capital punishment on May 1, 1960. The fifth link leads to a series of columns written by Mike Royko on such subjects as the Chicago Cubs and Mayor Richard J. Daley. The sixth link is in the same vein, as it offers a clutch of additional columns written by Royko. Finally, the last link leads to a piece by John Hahn of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer commemorating noted journalist and one-time minor league ballplayer, Emmett Watson.
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Date Issued
Date of Scout Publication
Date Of Record Creation
2009-04-10 09:10:58
Date Of Record Release
2009-04-14 15:42:10
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