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The Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition

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Since sometime in the spring of this year, the Wall Street Journal has been carrying a notice that it would be publishing a new edition each Saturday starting in the fall. The edition is a welcome addition to my weekend tradition.

I read a lot of newspapers; probably a larger number than usual for an author who prefers to live in the world of books. Each week has a routine for allowing me to get through everything while still having enough time for books, not to mention all of the other stuff that I do.

Two weekly newspapers here get delivered to everyone in my neighborhood. There's the Monday Bexley News from Suburban News Publications that covers news of purely local interest: goings-on at schools, road construction and development projects, and police reports. Thursday brings ThisWeek, the freebie published by the Dispatch Printing Company (the folks behind the Columbus Dispatch, WBNS-10TV, and other media holdings), which is rather like the SNP papers but seems more focused on people stories, interviews, and the like. No doubt its flavor and focus are inspired by the competition that the Dispatch began to feel on Thursdays.

Probably the most widely-read local paper outside of the Dispatch is The Other Paper, published on Thursdays. The goofy tabloid seems to cover everything that the “Big D” doesn't, frequently whatever intrigue someone seems to want to stir up about Dispatch-held outlets and their writers, anchors, and so on. (“If you can't say anything nice, you're Angela Pace,” read the headline for a recent cover story about a 10TV anchor who apparently couldn't manage to find a single redeeming quality in a coworker at his retirement party.) TOP also covers the nightlife, along with films, books, theater, live shows, dining, and about anything else that you might want to try instead of sitting at home in front of the television.

Working downtown, I have little difficulty walking by a vending machine or stand at a pub that has the free weeklies. I typically read. I'll pick up TOP on Thursdays, along with Alive, a weekly actually released on Wednesday but that never seems to be available on that day. Printed as a tabloid and focused on music, art, and culture instead of news, it's obviously intended at the younger, hipper crowd that TOP is trying to reach. And both suffer from the same annoying tone that comes from faux-intellectuals when trying to discuss matters of substance; especially annoying because the writers and most of the readers whose letters get printed seem not to realize the faux part of their titles. Let it never be said that I called someone's argument “tripe” without first reading it and giving it due consideration.

Friday, I get the scoop on the local business scene from Columbus Business First. It tends to be more about small business than I care to follow, but it also has the up-and-coming and can be useful.

Sunday's paper of choice is the Columbus Dispatch. (Who can resist Sunday's color comics?) Sunday's edition also includes a lot less “hard news” as a proportion of its total content, tending to focus more on local goings-on, seasonal attractions, columnists opining on whatever they feel like going on about, and so on. Even the hard news is more plentiful (particularly the in the Business section which throughout the week is anemic and mostly prints of AP stories that I can read off the wire in real time if I really want) and includes more information of local interest.

I volunteer Saturdays and make a stop for coffee mid-morning that affords me a chance to pick up the New York Times. Always a fan of intelligent writing, I am inclined to spend some time later in the day lingering with the Times, reading things that I might not have considered but for the writing. The Arts section is my favorite; not only covering new books just coming out, but noting anniversaries of interest. (The September 24, 2005, for example, revisited Nabokov's Lolita on the fiftieth anniversary of its original publication.)

All of this is added to the daily intake of a local business and law paper published Monday through Friday, the Daily Reporter, which I read in the office, and the Wall Street Journal, which I get delivered at home. Not only do I get the hard news I'm looking for from the Journal, but I appreciate the softer content; one of my favorite features of the paper is its “Tastings” column, a sort of lifestyle column for the wine savvy. In the past few years, softer content has proliferated in the Journal, dealing with everything from career advice to personal finance and fashion to healthy living.

Of course, when there's breaking news, I pay attention to CNN, though instead of looking for a television, I read its Web content, very often from my phone. This is when I want to get raw data, knowing that there has been essentially no time to turn it into useful information—I'll take care of that myself, thank you. (For example, in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, I wanted to know what people were reporting that they could see and what NASA officials were actually saying; I just ignore things that contradict the laws of physics.)

Adding to my usual news intake is now the Weekend Edition of the Wall Street Journal. Having seen the edition next to my usual Saturday reading, I'm inclined to pronounce the Weekend Edition a success. Like the rest of the Journal, it is intelligent and well-written. It's hardly all business, though, including such things as a list of Renée Fleming's five favorite recordings of La Traviata and an article with advice on how to make time in the kitchen on the weekend pay off later from Napa chef Maria Helm Sinskey. Reviews of music, books, radio (satellite radio, in last weekend's edition) are all there.

Judging from the letters published on the Opinion page, it would seem that I'm not the only fan. Maria C. Ham wants to know when the Journal will start to publish a Sunday edition. Not a bad question, though for the time being, I'm happy just to enjoy a richer Saturday.

Created by cmcurtin
Last modified 2005-09-27 01:10 PM

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