It sounded great. A giant new hard copy prototype newspaper in San Francisco conceived by Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and publisher of McSweeney's. I love newspapers, always have (and have ADD when it comes to reading text on a monitor). I tweeted the Panorama news a few weeks ago, and sent off my 16 bucks to the San Francisco Chronicle for the special edition. Well, it arrived a few days ago, and it's an overblown turkey. A newspaper it's not, journalism it's not, editing it hasn't. It's on embarrassingly expensive paper, everything in it is overly long, dull, and calls mightily for the hand of a real editor. It's a waste of paper and ink and people's time. This kind of hard copy will (rightly) drive people back to their monitors.
Last night, I was wondering am I just too old, too unhip, two un-urban, too deprived of city culture due to living in the country? Is everybody else going to think this thing is great? Then this morning I ran across Howard Junker's take on Panorama, and felt a lot better.
"…Panorama isn't visionary, it's just another McSweeney's grab bag, a pastiche, a let's pretend, let's put on a show…"
-See Junker's take on this mess at: zyzzyvaspeaks.blogspot.com.
-Photo above by Steve Rhodes on flickr