Sunday, March 20, 2005

Let's get into a price war ...

I was going to refrain from commenting on the rather stupid idea up in Madison, Wis., where the paper of record is selling access to its editors for only $25,000 for those who become "charter" members of its new Capital Region Business Journal.

I wasn't going to comment because I'm just tired of the seemingly never-ending parade of harebrained schemes from those running media companies who just don't get it. (Their motto: "Ethics is a five-letter word.")

But then Forrest Brown of The (Charlotte) Observer writes this hugely funny letter to Romenesko saying he'll allow someone to experience the copy desk for only $49.95.

Among the day's highlights that Brown proposes for "Bob," his visitor:

* 4:15 p.m. - Bob watches me in silence try to find a shorter word for *Presbyterian* in a 42-point, one-column headline. Designer says headline will lose *pop* if we make it any smaller.
* 4:45 p.m. - Bob watches eight more stories come to rim. ("Why do they call it a rim?" Bob asks. "NOT NOW, Bob!")
* 5:15 p.m. - Bob has to pee. So do I. Bob goes to pee. I stay at my desk.

Well, in the spirit of capitalism, we can't let that go unchallenged. So for just $44.50 you can come watch me teach an 8 a.m. class that often is barely awake, deal with anguished students later in the day and solve a dozen computer problems before noon -- and I'll throw in the special treat of taking one of my copy-editing labs. Who says there are no bargains these days?

(Price does not include taxes and fees. Payment may be made in U.S. dollars, Euros or M&Ms no older than the food in the newspaper refrigerator. Void in Hawaii, Alaska, most of the lower 48 and where prohibited by law. Based on an average of 12 muttered epithets per hour for 48 months; terms may be higher based on credit qualification. All editing as is, where is. Past experience most definitely will not indicate future results.)

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