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Sun Going Down

Posted 5/27/2009

It was enlightening to read "Newsgate" (Mobtown Beat, May 13) by Edward Ericson Jr. about the latest bloodletting at The Baltimore Sun. Sam Zell will be remembered for destroying our flawed, but needed daily newspaper. The only solution is for The Sun to become a nonprofit entity, once Zell makes the paper available for purchase by local people interested in producing a daily paper not for profit but for the benefit of the community.

I have always been of the opinion that the best part of The Sun was the letters to the editor. Despite the dearth of progressive columnists and op-eds, The Sun would always have a lively list of letters covering many progressive concerns. Sadly, The Sun is slowly moving away from letters by skipping them on certain days and by promoting internet drivel which is frequently from some nameless source.

My proposal is for City Paper to enlarge its letters pages and allow for comments on important subjects which may not even be covered in your paper. At least honor my proposal until The Baltimore Sun gets out of Sam Zell's yoke.

As far as I know, City Paper has a healthy balance sheet. So step up to the plate and do the community a service by printing more letters to the editor during these times in which the future of print media is uncertain.

Max Obuszewski
Baltimore

Editor Lee Gardner responds: We print almost all the letters we receive that meet our two basic criteria: 1) must address the paper's contents or policies, 2) must be 500 words or less.

 

What a lousy way to treat people. And, it can only lead to a degradation of the quality of the work of those who remain. Are we seeing the death of true journalism?

Michael Smith
Baltimore

Not His Best Since Blood on the Tracks

Thanks for the honest and cogent critique of Bob Dylan's latest work ("Minor Keys," Music, May 13). "Pretty good" is a gracious description of Together Through Life. Time Out of Mind was such a powerful work of professional and artistic alchemy, afforded well-deserved accolades for reclamation of his reputation, that most reviews of anything by Dylan in the ensuing dozen years ended up as a form of hagiolatry. To his credit, Michaelangelo Matos resists the usual knee-jerk fawning. Viewed in the cold light of day, the band on the new album sounds uninspired at best or bored at worst. The Jack Frost production lacks the dramatic touch of Daniel Lanois and the lyrical output is diluted by the Robert Hunter collaboration. Dylan is depressingly disingenuous by not crediting Otis Rush for "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'" and it's swipe of "All Your Love" (a co-authorship with Willie Dixon) especially since, as noted by Matos, it's "probably his best single since the mid-'70s." In general, he just doesn't sound as invested this time around.

The illustration by Alex Fine was an excellent accompaniment to the article.

Warren Cherry
Baltimore

Editor's note: The nominees for the 2009 Association of Alternative Newsweeklies AAN Awards have been announced, and City Paper is nominated in three categories among member alt-weeklies with circulations larger than 50,000. Former staff writer Jeffrey Anderson, staff writers Edward Ericson Jr. and Chris Landers, and senior staff writer Van Smith were nominated in the Investigative Reporting category for the "Shadow Economy" series (citypaper.com/go/shadoweconomy). Freelance contributor Paige Shuttleworth was nominated in the Illustration category for her cover illo for the 2008 Sizzlin' Summer issue (pictured above). And City Paper freelance photographers John Ellsberry, Frank Hamilton, Frank Klein, Michael Northrup, Ryan "Rarah" Stevenson, and Jefferson Jackson Steele were nominated for a selection of their work in the Photography category. The winners will be announced at the annual AAN Convention in Tuscon, Ariz., on June 26. Congratulations to the nominees.

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