Burch: 'City Paper' closing

Friday, July 26, 2013 at 2:13am
By Michael R. Burch

It has been a distinct honor and a real pleasure to have been allowed to write a weekly column for The City Paper these last three years. But I’m glad that I didn’t quit my day job, because professional journalism is becoming a very tough financial row to hoe.

As more and more content becomes free on the Internet, it becomes harder and harder to get readers to pay for anything non-copyright-able, like the news. And as advertisers devote more and more of their budgets to Internet heavyweights like Google and YouTube, it becomes harder and harder for smaller publishers to earn enough advertising money to stay afloat. I believe The City Paper has been a consistently good publication that is now shutting down through no fault of its own — a victim of demographics.

Unfortunately, many other outstanding small news outfits will soon follow suit. Such is the march of progress, one supposes. But sometimes “progress” means settling for a cheap aluminum can, rather than a fist-satisfying pewter tankard.

And such “progress” is not limited to newspapers and pubs. In a recent flashy presentation to well-heeled advertisers, Google’s Eric Schmidt didn’t predict that Internet video will one day surpass TV viewing. Instead, according to him, it’s already happened. Schmidt said that “the future is now” for YouTube, which recently passed one billion unique visitors per month. But he’s already talking about six or seven billion.

Obviously, if Google, YouTube, Facebook and a few other Internet heavyweights get billions of visitors per month, they can suck in huge amounts of advertising money, creating enormous vacuums elsewhere in the ether. In the writing world, quality normally means much more than quantity ... but not if no one can find the words.

I hope all my colleagues at The City Paper are able to land on their feet. I was very fortunate to have worked with two excellent editors, William Williams and James Nix. They gave me the chance to follow in the footsteps of “Give ’em Hell” Harry S. Truman, who once pointed out that he didn’t actually give anyone hell: he just told them the truth and they thought it was hell.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

Filed under: City Voices

105 Comments on this post:

By: Moonglow1 on 7/29/13 at 6:10

Moonglow1:speaking of Christianity, the Pope announced " who am I to pass judgment on gays..." oh oh now what are the Repub nuts going to do

By: yogiman on 7/29/13 at 7:31

Sorry Mike,

But to prefer a Kenyan as your president who refuses to identify himself tells me you're as ignorant on common sense in the Constitution as your favorable fellow posters here.

But let's presume he was an American citizen when he was adopted into Indonesian citizenship; has he ever repatriated his citizenship? If he has (which he's never announced), what law would give him natural born status even though he could only be a dual-citizen?

By: yogiman on 7/29/13 at 8:14


I've got some news for you. Politically, there isn't much difference between Obama (if that's his name, Bush, Clinton, G.H.W. Bush, Kennedy and on down the line over the past several decades. They have all "left the gate open" on our borders for illegal aliens with a "welcome home" attitude to them.

Did you not hear G. H. W. Bush make the statement about becoming a [one world government]? Wasn't it Clinton when our jobs started moving overseas? Didn't George Bush push for that "open road" between Mexico and Canada through the USA? Wasn't it Bush who also pushed for an amnesty bill for illegal aliens?

So what's the biggest difference between Barry and the others? They are all natural born citizens and no question was ever raised on that issue.

So when John McCain presented his birth certificate when he was questioned, why didn't Barry present his? Why did Barry question McCain but refused to be questioned himself? What was he trying to hide?

By: budlight on 7/30/13 at 4:56

Moonglow1 on 7/29/13 at 7:10
Moonglow1:speaking of Christianity, the Pope announced " who am I to pass judgment on gays..." oh oh now what are the Repub nuts going to do

You left out part of the quote: he said "pass judgment on gay priests". He did not refer to gays in general. And of course he would say that. He is not the "judge"; God is the judge. He probably didn't say that the people are not the problem, the sin is the problem.

And the Repub nuts are not the only ones. I know some Democrats who are relatively liberal who do not agree with the Obamagaymovement.

By: Mike Burch on 7/31/13 at 1:50


Who is God to judge human beings, if he created the world? Who is responsible for evi, for suffering and death? The writers of the Bible tried to blame human beings, but they didn't know about evolution. We now know that there never was a perfect garden of Eden, and that trillions of animals suffered and died before man existed. And we know that man is a product of his environment, just as lions and tigers are. We don't condemn lions and tigers for killing and eating other innocent animals. They can't help the fact that they have to "sin" in order to live. But neither could our ancestors have hoped to live without fighting, killing, etc.

So obviously God is the "original sinner" if he created a world where it was impossible for his creations to live together in peace. Paul's gospel was wrong because he foolishly believed the garden of Eden story. But it was a myth, like the myth of Noah's flood, which quite obviously never happened. There was no global flood that covered the highest mountains, and no perfect Garden of Eden. But without a perfect Garden of Eden, original sin falls in the lap of the Creator, if there is a creator.