[Hering] Compare and contrast: two commentary pieces in this weekend’s local papers

Hering:

Here’s some of the pointless speculation you expect from the press

All of this says only that some people in the writing and broadcasting games have too much time on their hands.

Compare that to the GT’s Theresa Novak:

Most of Clackamas County’s 2,000 employees (60 percent) last week began working four 10-hour shifts. The county’s offices will be closed Friday and open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

What makes Clackamas County’s move newsworthy is that it is the state’s largest government agency to switch to 4/10s to accomplish work that has traditionally taken place during regular business hours.

But I’m hoping the 4/10 work model spreads.

In a time of shrinking newspaper profits, one would think newspapers would be scrambling to make sure what they actually spend money on printing has some semblance of quality.  One of the two pieces above does – Novak addresses a somewhat local issue and provides supporting arguments and evidence for her claim.  The other – Hering’s – has no clear argument, no evidence for any of the claims made in it, and adds nothing new to the overall conversation.

Hering even gets that what he is doing in the piece is banal and pointless – note how he points it out twice in the first part of his commentary – but he does it anyway.  Why bother, then? Moreover, why subject his readers to such irrelevance?  Why ask both Lee and newspaper readers to spend time and money on something so… useless?


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