About faced

Stop the Presses column by Chris Graham

“So after all this hemming and hawing about how print is old hat, how the Web is the future …”

“You’re launching a print publication.”


“And this makes sense … how?”
I have to admit, my good friend and sounding board Eli had a point there.

“And now I hear you’re going to try to join the state press association – three years after they rejected you?” our mutual friend Mordecai chimed in, as if on cue.

“Er …”

“You’re not the same Chris Graham that we once knew and loved,” Mordecai said.

“If you know him, bring him back – we miss having somebody around to hurl the occasional insult at,” Eli said.

This all from the news that we’re set to debut The New Dominion in a couple of weeks – and have been working feverishly to get ourselves ready for this big step forward.

“A big step backward, I’d call it,” my lawyer-agent, Harvey D. Shyster III, Esquire, said over lunch the other day.

It had been Harvey who had tried to talk me out of going cyber back in the day, for those keeping score at home.

“There’s no way this stupid thing is going to work, kiddo,” he told me more than once.

And now …

“You’re not making any sense here, kiddo.”

After a pause, he went into the why.

“For one, you spent four years building up that other name – Augusta Chronicle …”
Augusta Free Press.”

“Yeah, Augusta Re-pressed, whatever. And now you’re changing that to something new.”

It’s all part of our rebranding, I explained – to a name that isn’t tied to one particular geographical area.

“Point being, you spent a lot of time and money getting that name out there – and now you’re throwing it away.”

“That’s right.”

“And you’re going back into print – after telling anybody who would listen to you that print is dead.”

That message must have been garbled – my point has always been that the Internet will be (if it isn’t already) the place for news organizations to get their up-to-the-minute news out to folks, and that print’s role would be not to regurgitate what had already been reported, but to offer analysis and community news that is better suited to that medium.

“So … explain the press-association thing,” wormed in Mordecai, reminding me of my diatribes on the issue of how overvalued press groups are, particularly in the awards that they give away like boxes of vintage Sudafed at a meth-addicts convention.

“Am I to guess that you’re going to try to win awards so that you can then go on bragging about them in self-serving columns written to boost your ego and make it so that you can get to sleep at night?”

“Um …”

He had me on this one. I’ve written several times about how my attitude on journalism awards changed a few years back when I served as a judge for a Washington, D.C.,-area awards competition – and saw from the inside how the trinkets were doled out.

“Um …”

I didn’t know what else to say.

“Anything else you’re thinking about renouncing? The existence of God? The free-market system? The earth is round? Any other confessions?” the Shyster inquired of me.

“Well, there’s a secret government base just east of the … ahem … but I’m not supposed to talk about that outside of … er, you know …


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augusta free press news
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