Ventura reporter’s letter tells the story better than traditional print writing

The Ventura County Star‘s Scott Hadly is reporting from Iraq.  I haven’t been following his coverage, but I met none of it matches the intimacy and immediacy of this letter he wrote to a fellow reporter.

In one short letter, I got a better idea of what’s going on in Iraq from 1,000 New York Times stories.

This is how you write for the modern reader.  Journalists need to learn the lesson.

I’m not saying profanity is required, but if you’re writing about something like what Scott went through and some profanity doesn’t at least cross your mind, then you’re probably not putting enough of yourself into the story.

FWIW: I don’t know Scott. He joined the staff after I left Ventura.

First-ever layoffs at Ventura County Star

When I started at the Ventura County Star in 1999, more than one manager told me that so long as I did my job, I didn’t need to worry about losing my job. The Star had never laid off workers. E.W. Scripps, I was told, didn’t believe in layoffs.

This week the Star announced seven people will lose their jobs as part of the Star’s efforts to reduce expense.

This is how much the industry has changed in just a few short years.