Example Number 3,632 in the Decline of Local Newspapers in Virginia

by James C. Sherlock

The newspaper business in Virginia continues its rapid descent into well-earned oblivion.

It is fair to disdain Donald Trump and hope that he is not our next president. Indeed, I have gone on record on BR with my views supporting that conclusion. This is an opinion blog.

But there is, or should be, such a thing as standards in newspapers. News here. Opinion there.

Many local newspapers now go too far as policy in a desperate attempt to survive. Or because the few remaining personnel simply don’t know any better. Or both.

Associated Press. The Associated Press today published an opinion piece by Chris Megarian titled “Trump’s Indictment is a stress test of Biden’s focus on Safeguarding Democracy.”

A reader actually could feel the author’s heavy breathing. In his mind the only thing unsettled, and unsettling, to him about the indictment is whether Joe Biden will “focus” on it. He noted with trembling concern that:

Biden has occasionally struggled to fully deliver on his pledges about democracy.

Nothing about guilt, which the author assumes. Certainly no reference to innocence until proven guilty.

But fair enough. Mr. Megarian’s opinion was so labeled by the AP.

Daily Press. But the way I first saw it on the Daily Press Evening Edition is old-fashioned yellow journalism:

Neither the headline nor the story itself as presented there referenced it as an opinion piece.

But it is clearly intended as click bait. Indeed, I clicked to see how they were presenting it.

I suspect that The Evening Edition may be edited (if that is the word) by someone who, to be kind, may not have the resume for the job. Or maybe it is edited by AI. If so, the algorithms have more learning to do.

I would say disappointing, but it is not possible to be disappointed by Virginia’s local newspapers anymore.

Small thing, right?

It is indeed small.