We were chatting about the LA Times during dinner on Sunday, and it turns out that pretty much everyone in my family wonders how much longer we’re going to read it. The conversation got started when I mentioned that I used to link to LAT stories fairly frequently on the blog, but that I find myself doing this very rarely anymore. I deal almost exclusively with national and international news here, and in the past the Times frequently covered different stories, or had different takes on the same story, that provided a perspective the other national outlets didn’t. Today, not so much. It’s mostly just routine coverage of the standard set of major events. You can read the whole paper in a few minutes. And the op-ed page is so consistently dull that I barely even skim it these days.
What’s more, our subscription costs $42 per month. Marian pays the bills around here, so I hadn’t seen a LAT bill for ages, and I was surprised the cost had gotten so high. I’ve been reading the Times since I was five, but now I’m beginning to wonder how much longer I’m going to bother paying $500 per year for a paper that’s such a shadow of its former self.
There’s nothing new here, of course. It’s just part of the decline of American newspapers generally. But suddenly it feels an awful lot more real around here.