Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead - or moving to rural Illinois

My wife sent this to me with exactly this phrasing: Ding Dong the Witch is dead?
Iowa Political Columnist Leaves Journalism - The Caucus Blog -
David Yepsen, the long-time chief political columnist for the Des Moines Register, is taking a job as director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute in Southern Illinois. His decision to leave his perch comes at a time when the Gannett Company, which owns the Register, has been forcing reporters to take unpaid furloughs, as it, like other newspapers, struggle to adjust to an economic crisis

There are many reporters in this country who cover politics for newspapers and other news organizations, but Mr. Yepsen occupied a unique role, in no small part because of the importance of the Iowa caucuses in the presidential campaign. Every four years, as the caucuses which begin the presidential nominating calendar approach, Mr. Yepsen found himself to be the most sought-after political journalist in the country, entertaining campaign managers, strategists, journalists – and candidates themselves. Mr. Yepsen, who was a columnist for the past two presidential contests and before that worked as the paper’s top political reporter, liked to joke that once the caucus came and went, he would turn back into a pumpkin.

He was often 'unofficially' called the Dean of Iowa Press Corps because he and Broder, the other "Dean", emulated a similar style of writing, forming positions, and working their respective Villagers.

I'm sure the handwriting was on the wall for Yepsen when the Register/Gannett whacked the Washington desk reporter Jane Norman earlier in 2008, and then axed the political cartoonist without warning in December. Until Duffy's disposal, The Register was the last American news daily featuring a front page political cartoon several days a week.

Deeth sez: "The hagiography from the national press corps is starting. To them, with their quadrennial visits, Yepsen WAS Iowa journalism, caucus history incarnate (and he seemed to love that). I'm sure he'll stay in the rolodexes and show up on the talk shows in 2011 with a curmudgeonly critique of the GOP field."

1 comment:

Anjha said...

Print papers are going under quickly. They failed to stay on top of technology and the Internet caught them by surprise. Not to mention that every single one of them gave away the cow for free.

I am grateful that I can read almost every paper and journal online without a subscription, but it has to make for shitty revenue losses.

IN addition, I like that the papers are electronic. NO more killing trees to print out swill every single day.

There is so much information on the Internets that there is no need to buy the papers. Though I do like a hard copy of some of my magazines, like the Progressive. (I actually do not as much enjoy reading The Nation hard copy because it is news print rather than the evil shiny paper...I just do not read it as easily. Hazard of getting old and having my eyes go kaput.)

I am wondering Id, it seems you hate the guy - is it a good thing, a bad thing, or just one more sign of the times?