Simon on THE WIRE: What the Press Missed

On Huffington Post, Wire creator David Simon lets the audience know what was missed in almost ALL the coverage — the newspaper missed EVERY big story! “The season amounted to ten hours of a newspaper that is no longer intimately aware of its city,” Simon declares.

A good newspaper covers its city and acquires not just the quantitative account of a day’s events, but the qualitative truth and meaning behind those events. A great newspaper does this routinely on a multitude of issues, across its entire region.

Simon was sure that by suggesting “a high-end American newspapers ha[s] been gutted by out-of-town ownership, besieged by the internet and [is] preoccupied by a prize culture that validates small-trick and self-limiting ‘impact,’ rather than seriously evaluating problems,” the press will take a hard look at the state of their industry. However, only a few small papers noticed this theme in their coverage of the final season.

Simon reveals that a story editor suggested a final scene to make this theme explicit. Show, don’t tell, is the rule, so Simon nixed the idea. He regrets that choice. The loss of a vigorous press (one of Tocqueville’s strengths of American democracy) should be discussed loudly and widely, if anyone still cares.


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