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 […]

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 […]

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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 […]

Scandals at one level is a beach read, a mix of a thriller and novel of manners. But at another, it’s about bureaucratic laxness, which can kill workers—not just drain investors’ bank accounts. The Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico makes Scandals all the more timely. Penny-pinching proved to be lethal. – D.R. […]

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The Washington, D.C., area gets the most ink in The Solomon Scandals. But Scandals also contains flashbacks to the steel town of Marseilles, Ohio, a fictionalized version of Lorain, where I wrote features and worked the poverty and public housing beats for the Journal, the local daily. The phrase “factory town” applies. In Scandals even […]