June 2, 2009 in City
Doug Clark: Slim paper no sweat to Omdougsm
The city of Spokane is going through the charade of hiring an ombudsman who will pretend to keep an eye on the cops.
Fortunately for you readers, The Spokesman- Review is already blessed with a self-important overseer.
And it’s time once again for The Omdougsman to address your newspaper concerns without being encumbered by upper-managerial topspin.
Q: Hey, The Spokesman- Review I received on Monday looks really different – what gives?
The Omdougsman: You must mean the front-page story from the editor. It’s about time we got some bylines out of that guy.
Q: No. I mean that my newspaper is skinnier than an Olsen twin with rickets.
The Omdougsman: Oh, yeah. That too.
Q: So what’s the deal?
The Omdougsman: Adopting the “Slim Jim” format not only saves wood pulp, but makes your newspaper even easier to roll up when you want to swat your dog or kill a bug.
Q: Are any other publications doing this?
The Omdougsman: My, yes. The Watchtower, Zig-Zag rolling papers, the Bazooka Joe bubblegum comic, Idaho’s road map …
Q: You can’t fool us. This is about saving money, isn’t it?
The Omdougsman: You got me. But give us a break. The newspaper industry is in more trouble than Jon and Kate’s marriage. We have to do something to keep the presses rolling and our executives in expensive suits.
Q: But didn’t Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire just approve a 40 percent tax break for the state’s ailing newspapers?
The Omdougsman: Aw, that’s just the usual political payback for endorsing her in the last election.
Q: Besides publishing a narrower newspaper, is the S-R doing anything more to reduce its carbon footprint?
The Omdougsman: Beginning next week we’d like all of our subscribers to walk or take the bus downtown and pick up their daily newspaper on the corner of Riverside and Monroe.
Q: Aren’t you asking a lot out of your customers?
The Omdougsman: Yes, but they will save gas and make Al Gore happy.
Q: How committed is The Spokesman-Review to being “green”?
The Omdougsman: We now have a company bicycle that employees can check out.
Q. That’s something, I guess.
The Omdougsman: After the layoffs and wage cuts, a company wet bar would have been a whole lot better idea, if you ask me. But management never seems to want to seek my advice on anything.
Q: Is there anything you appreciate about the new S-R format?
The Omdougsman: Absolutely. We kept the horoscope. And my column now must be 3 inches shorter.
Q: What’s so great about a shorter column?
The Omdougsman: Fewer words for the same money. It’s like getting a pay raise for a lot less wor
Columnist Doug Clark can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.