Has journalism finally met its kryptonite?

Published 7:48am Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It’s been a tough year for print journalism. Earlier this year, the New Orleans, La., newspaper and several major Alabama newspapers announced they were cutting their printing schedule from seven days to three days. Just a few weeks ago, Newsweek said it was planning to retire its print edition.

However, the worst news might be yet to come. According to reliable sources, Clark Kent is leaving the Daily Planet.

Apparently, the next issue of DC Comics’ “Superman,” which will be released today, Wednesday, Oct. 24, will feature Kent retiring from his “mild-mannered reporter” ego and quitting his day job at the Planet. Although it’s not clear what Kent will be doing instead, some surmise that he will put away his notepad and pen and instead become a blogger along the lines of a Matt Drudge or Arianna Huffington.

“Superman is arguably the most-powerful person on the planet, but how long can he sit as his desk with someone breathing down his neck and treating him like the least-important person in the world?,” Superman writer Scott Lobdell told USA Today.

Lobdell also said that the Caped Crusader would, “come into his own in the next few years, as far as being a guy who takes to the Internet and to the airwaves, and starts speaking an unvarnished truth.”

DC Comics said that Kent’s career shift is an attempt to become more modernized and current, which certainly is a little disconcerting for someone in the print journalism profession. However, I can take heart in the fact that Kent writes for the Daily Planet, a major metropolitan newspaper.

Big city newspapers have been struggling for some time, while smaller community newspapers like The Post-Searchlight continue to thrive. I’d like to think it’s because we continue to fill a necessary niche in people’s lives, giving them information about their friends and neighbors that they can’t get anywhere else. Maybe if Kent was writing for the Smallville Ledger, he wouldn’t feel so stressed.

Besides, if Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man) can continue working for The Daily Bugle and its taskmaster of an editor, J. Jonah Jameson, then I think Kent can suck up the deadline pressure and chaos of a big-city newsroom. And if he can’t, there’s no doubt there’s hundreds of college graduates out there just biting at the chance to get into the journalism biz.

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