Civil Discourse Now

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Brackets not printed in The Indianapolis Star: one of that paper's last functions gone.

   Every year for a long time my ritual on NCAA(r) picks Sunday---or whatever the formal brand name for the day has become---has involved watching the NCAA(r) draw of teams for the tournament and filling in the brackets on the form printed in The Indianapolis Star. I used to purchase of a copy of the Sunday Star, but after I graduated from law school I subscribed for home delivery of the daily publication then owned by the Pulliam family.

   A savvy lawyer in trust laws figured out how the Pulliam heirs could sell the paper. Right before the market for newspapers tanked, the heirs were able to unload The Star for a bundle of money. Immediately, the quality of the paper began to deteriorate. Coverage of local news was transformed from Pulitzer-worthy work (Dick Cady's series on Circle City police corruption) to a cheerleading rag for people in power.

   One thing I thought would always be in the paper was the form for the NCAA(r) pairings. There were some good pieces in yesterday's issue. Marisa Kwiatkowski's front page article about the system whereby the bosses of Marion County's two political parties choose judges was good. Columns by John Ketzenburger and Abdul were informative. Abdul's views might be wrong, but his column entertains.

   I did not bother to look for the page with the brackets until later in the afternoon, after I was home from the office. As the time for announcement of the pairings neared, I grabbed the sports section, where the bracket form always had been printed, and looked for the form. Brackets threw me off. Half of one page was filled with a crap item. Brackets were set up for an imaginary one-on-one tournament to determine the best player in the history of Indiana's college and university teams from the NCAA(r) tournament. There was no sheet for one to fill in the brackets.

   I went through the sports section again, and saw a little notice about how I could print off a bracket form from the website of The Indianapolis Star. I had just spent two dollars on the paper, for the primary purpose of writing down the pairings. I did not need to spend two dollars to be told I could print off a form from my computer.

   There are a few good things about the daily newspaper of Indianapolis---very few. The addition of Kwiatkowsi, whom I met in the course of representation of a client sentenced to double-life, is a plus. She did good journalistic work in Northwest Indiana. I am confident she can do the same quality of work here. Some of the columnists give good commentary. 

   This is Indiana. If the newspaper's editors planned not to print the brackets, they should have printed an advisory as to such on the front page. There are classic, derogatory comments people have made about newspapers. Some have said they would not wrap a fish in the paper. Places that sell seafood today do not use newspaper to wrap their products. Others have said a specific newspaper was good for lining the bottom of a bird cage. I do not own a bird. If The Star chose not to publish the brackets as a statement on the fact no Indiana team is in the tournament, I would think the editors would have issued a statement to that effect---and not made the brackets available to be printed from their website.

   I think I will have to find a new place to buy fish, or adopt a bird.  

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Comment by Paul K. Ogden on March 17, 2014 at 9:11am

You still receive a paper version of the Indianapolis Star?   You are probably the only one left in the city who does that.  Nonetheless, the Star did do brackets, on-line, which is better than the paper version, which print gets smaller every year.


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