We've all heard it before: "Newspapers are dying."
I've often said that we're killing them, but that's probably just quibbling over terms.
After all, we can each point fingers at a cause: Nobody reads anymore, no one wants to deal with the mess, the internet is faster and free, Craigslist is siphoning off the most lucrative (if not least sexy) stream of revenue, corporations have sucked the marrow dry.
Well ... one of ours, The Independent, is closing. Whether it has died or been killed, I suppose, doesn't really matter. The 36-year-old community newspaper, which had been owned by Journal Register Co. for the last eight of them, will stop publishing forever as of Friday.
Something will probably take its place eventually. ... A free rag, put together by people in part-time jobs without benefits, will eventually find its way into mailboxes throughout the counties this bi-weekly once serviced. The new newspaper, if you can really call it that, will offer glowing reports on new businesses and tasty recipes from syndicated (but free) content providers. There will probably be more ads and more announcements of school lunch menus and honor rolls than humanly thought possible.
But, come Friday, an authentic voice of the community, at least in print, will be gone.
I think a moment of silence is in order.