|Indianapolis Star Editor Dennis Ryerson|
Is there anyone who thinks the Star is a better paper today than it was in 2003 when he took the helm?
The quality of the Indianapolis Star has declined dramatically in the last several years. News staffs have been cut and the remaining reporters are underpaid and overworked. Reporters have been told to not cover newsworthy stories because doing so would step on the toes of politically-powerful individuals. There have been a few exceptions, but for the most part of you want quality investigative journalism today, you don't go to the Star, but rather to the Indianapolis Business Journal or even television reporters. If you want stories where the writers do not shy away from controversy you go to the blogs. There are few reasons to read the Star today. The paper has become a collection of AP articles with a few noncontroversial local stories thrown in the mix.
To succeed the Star has to learn to adapt to modern technology, a world in which people are as likely to read their newspaper on their computers than a paper one delivered to one's home. Ryerson's answer to the challenge was to cut the Star's quality and avoid controversy. That was obviously not the right choice. Hopefully his successor will exercise better judgment.