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'Wire's' newspaper report

David Simon wrote for the Baltimore Sun. The paper warily awaits how that informs this season.

January 06, 2008|Matea Gold | Times Staff Writer

Some Sun staffers said they think this season of "The Wire" could actually help illuminate the stresses on print journalism. Since Tribune took over in 2000, the paper has lost about a quarter of its staff; its last three foreign bureaus shut down at the end of the year.

"Maybe it will do us some good to have our story told and help viewers understand the circumstances facing a lot of American newspapers today," said Steve Kiehl, who covers urban affairs.

Still, others said they're weary of Simon's gripes, noting that the paper has gone through much more difficult transitions since he's left. The newsroom tensions in the early 1990s now appear mild compared with the current upheaval.

"David is a very talented guy; I'm sure he's going to say things that are true," said veteran reporter Michael Hill. "But you'd just like to see him here confronting the financial realities we have. Those of us who stayed here, yes, maybe we agree with some of his analyses, but we still put out the paper. We get a little tired of hearing what a terrible rag we work for."

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matea.gold@latimes.com

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