The Solomon Scandals
The D.C. newspaper novel, the media,the Washington area, tech and other surrealism: David Rothman at large
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Imagine you’re with the Secret Service. A young Ohioan calls up and says he’ll be joining the Nazi Party. “I wanted you to know.” Wait—the story gets even better. The Ohio man already has been within shooting range of presidential candidates. J. Ross Baughman isn’t a real Nazi, however. Instead he is a photojournalist for […]

Categories: Lorain, Ohio, Media | 2 Comments

How could I have written a newspaper novel like The Solomon Scandals without a chain-smoking editor? Kamikaze levels of tobacco and booze use helped certify newsroom denizens as manly risk-takers several decades ago, the time period of Scandals. Women were part of the scene by the 1970s, but they tended not to partake with such […]

Smith Corona typewriters and all, the Front Page days lasted for decades at the Lorain Journal, now the Morning Journal but once an evening paper. I can still smell the old paste bottles and remember my fear of impalement on a copy spike, or the time a neighbor of the director of the local public […]

Late to the hyperlocal series in the Solomon Scandals blog? In reverse order, here’s a list of key parts. —How hyperlocal journalism can help big media grow closer to local communities, just posted today. —TBD D.C.-area news site not a steady riser in early Alexa stats. But let’s wait for the full story. —Crisp, lively […]

The Molly Ivins play—remember, Molly was the uppity newspaper columnist with a dog named Shit and a sassy ‘tude to match—is a sure thing for Broadway if you go by the numbers from Philadelphia. Hey, brag, didn’t I think as much earlier? From March 19 through Sunday as reported by Michael Klein in the Philadelphia […]

Update, 1:47 p.m.: Post rival’s local news strategy—a Poynter Institute item. – D.R. My online friend Beth Solomon, publisher of TheGeorgetownDish and absolutely no relative of the Sy Solomon in my newspaper novel, got robbed. A thief carried off Beth’s purse, checkbook, credit cards, wallet, car keys, iPhone, Blackberry, everything, after she left her car […]

Remember my optimism about Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, the play by the Engel twins, based on the life of the uppity liberal Texas columnist who fondly gave George Bush the nickname of “Shrub”? So far, the write-ups are upbeat, and I predict that R.H.P. will make it to Broadway—aided by […]

Categories: Lorain, Ohio, Media | 4 Comments

I mourn the decline of traditional newspapers, like The Telegram in The Solomon Scandals, despite their many flaws. How many paper dailies—not just individual copies of them—will end up as trash? And, yes, as many in the industry believe, Google is responsible to a great extent, but not in the way you might think. Google’s […]

Related: Media critic James Fallows and Google News’ Josh Cohen will discuss digital-era journalism tomorrow, Wednesday, at 6:30 p.m., in D.C. What if reporters didn’t take over from newspaper publishers, the tease I posted earlier? Suppose someone else did, Google. One old newspaper alum, Jeff Jarvis, has even written a book called What Would Google […]

The Solomon Scandals is a little like a novel that a 19th century writer might have written on whaling. In some ways it’s a tribute to a vanishing way of life—to the print culture as manifested in daily journalism. No, paper books are not disappearing tomorrow. But newspapers of a certain size are on the […]