Today’s News From a Few Days Ago?

20090319_dn_g1sixn19sOh, Philadelphia Inquirer. Give us a reason to need you. Please.

Today’s Inquirer provides us with the Sixers score against the Lakers.

From two days ago.

Really? A game story that arrives on people’s doorsteps more than 36 hours after the game? Anyone who cares about the game already knows the score.

Why?

A few days ago, Inquirer columnist Michael Smerconish boasted about how the region needs newspapers, as newspapers (specifically the Inquirer) are the way the citizens learn about deeper stories in the region. He cited the Inquirer’s early reporting on now convicted, former state senator Vince Fumo:

“Without their investigative reporting, the fate of one of the most powerful politicians in Harrisburg might still be in his own hands,” he penned.

Two days after Smerconish lauds the Inquirer’s investigative instincts, the paper runs a great story about six public offices in the city that, combined, spend about $36 million annually, yet they are centers of nepotism, patronage jobs and missing money ($17 million in one department).

Great story … except for the fact that the Inquirer didn’t do any investigating. Their entire story was based upon a study by the government watchdog group, the Committee of Seventy.

Newspapers are still trying to understand how to use the Internet, and how to allocate their resources.

The Internet is a great place to update fans on sports scores. The printed paper should provide depth, like the story on inefficient public offices. But it should be newspapers digging into those stories, not public interest groups.

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