Creative Loafing Mocks Up a “DJC” Newspaper

For those who haven’t seen it yet, Creative Loafing created this mock-up of a “Dunwoody Journal-Constitution” for their current issue, which features a lead article by Scott Henry entitled “‘Burbs or Bust”.

Many in-towners – including myself – have cited the paper’s move to Dunwoody and recent articles with a perceived anti-Atlanta bias to state show that “the AJC isn’t Atlanta’s newspaper anymore”.  In his article, Henry speaks of recent editorial changes at the paper including the facts that “… reporters are now forbidden from using the word “sprawl” and other terms that seem to cast judgment on the suburban way of life. The paper has even appointed a “bias editor” to ferret out even the unwitting inclusion of a turn of phrase that might cause offense to Northside readers.”

It’s a cry of a wounded population, compelled to reference Ralph McGill in moments of nostalgia for the newspapers of old.

And yeah, it does suck that the city of Atlanta’s hometown paper has moved OTP and now caters to the more affluent northern suburbs.  But we shouldn’t take it personally.  As anyone with any amount of human contact knows, the entire newspaper industry is going through a period of serious flux, which will likely result in making the word “paper” obsolete in coming years.

As Henry notes, the AJC was bleeding $1 million a day in 2008.  The old profit model no longer worked, so they moved and consolidated resources.  That’s business.

Whether the city of Atlanta will suffer from having to share the spotlight in a more ‘burbs focused paper is yet to be seen.  What the web has taken away from the big dailies, it has given back in the form of start-ups and “citizen journalists” hoping to fill the gap.  Is it currently an adequate replacement?  It depends on what you value.  If it’s a more substantial focus on local coverage, then maybe.  If it’s in-depth, investigative journalism, probably not.  But that’s the world we live in.

Of course, none of this means that the CL mock-up isn’t hilarious!

32 thoughts on “Creative Loafing Mocks Up a “DJC” Newspaper”

  1. The CL box in front of the Rialto was still full at 1 o’clock yesterday. That box is usually mostly empty by lunchtime on Thursday. It’s possible CL made a late delivery yesterday, but I suspect a lot of readers thought it was a different paper and didn’t bother taking a copy. I almost left my copy in the box, before figuring out the joke.

  2. I picked this one pager up on the bus yesterday and thought it was a real AJC paper. The article on the “benefits” of the long distance commute caught my eye and I was going to write a comment here. Glad I did not have time to do that. This is great satire!

  3. The article on the decline of a once-great newspaper was spot on ! It’s too bad that they feel the need to dumb down.

  4. [img][/img]

    Apparently this is their new logo (due to some complaints with their other new logo). Can anyone confirm?

    1. Um, that’s a true knockoff of a Wal-Mart logo. That’s a joke. It’s no longer funny, though, because that story was about, er, 6 weeks old. Get a life, guys!

  5. Printed newspapers are obsolete, except as litter box liners. The AJC is for those dwindling few who still prefer dead-tree news delivery, and those readers are largely OTP.

    1. As a latte-sipping sipping liberal, I get the New York Times (and not the AJC), but I do like having the paper edition to look at over the breakfast table with coffee.

    2. I also read the paper version of the AJC daily. I need it for the obituaries, crossword, Jumble, and Sudoku, none of which I find satisfactory on-line. Plus our desktop doesn’t roll easily into the bathroom. My husband and son read the sports page over breakfast. The comics are an incentive for the grouchy girl in the family to get out of bed and to the breakfast table. I’m recognize that hard copy newspapers may be doomed for good reasons but we will probably be the last family on earth still subscribing and reading the AJC hard copy. We’d switch to the NY Times but we need the local coverage of sports and obituaries.

      1. Oh, and we are so not OTP that we fly out of Hartsfield more often than we drive outside the Perimeter. 🙂

  6. I thought the cover was hilarious. That said, I think the AJC is just trying to survive and it’s more sad to me than funny. It isn’t just that they are trying to win over suburbanites, it’s that they are trying to hold onto an aging subscribe base. Where I live no one that I’m aware of who subscribes is under the age of sixty. Older people tend to be more conservative, so there you go.

  7. To ban the word “sprawl” is utterly appalling. I hope management is appropriately embarrassed by this outing of their bias. I wonder if they’ll respond and how can they justify this policy?

    Here’s a little suggestion to the AJC: TELL THE TRUTH. READERS DESERVE FACTS.

  8. I don’t mind them giving more coverage to the population they’re trying to attract but I do mind the pandering. They’re constantly playing the “Iraq WMD” game with MARTA. Any crime that happens anywhere near a MARTA station gets a huge headline with the crime and MARTA in it. Only when you read the article do you find out it happened several blocks away and had nothing to do with MARTA. They’ve even pulled this with a MARTA bus depot so they can’t claim they do it because people know where MARTA stations are located at.

    Just a week or so ago the headlines was that a child got killed at a MARTA bus stop. Turns out the kid was hit by a car when he ran out into the street. Had nothing to do with MARTA at all but if all you read was the headline, you’d think “Oh, another MARTA killing”.

    Also I wish they’d decide if Home Park is part of Atlantic Station or on the campus of Georgia Tech because the headlines of crime in Home Park usually claim it as Atlantic Station or Georgia Tech depending on which place they’re pushing as being dangerous that month. How about calling Home Park by its actual name in the headlines instead of trying to associate it with one of its neighbors?

    The “bias editor” appears to something straight out of 1984. Might as well name them the “Pander Shaper”.

  9. OMG! Despite having read this piece already, I still totally spaced out when foraging through a CL rack at breakfast this morning. I kept thinking, “eventually I’ll find a Loaf under all these AJCs” and was perplexed at how there were none, just figuring it was such a hot issue that they were all gone. I left empty-handed and somewhat confused at why the restaurant now had the AJC in two places. 🙂 Excellent job yet again, CL!

  10. We all need to put on our thinking caps and help our AJC writers come up with alternatives to the Forbidden Word. How about Urban Elephantiasis? Urbesity?

  11. Imitation is the sincerest form of Flattery?

    I must say that I found the CL article to be very melodramatic. While they certainly made some valid points their take on the situation with the AJC moving was melodramatic. Considering that CL is barely hanging on and had to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy and reorganize to keep their paper afloat, I’m assuming their shot at The AJC is a sign they are desperate.

    Most don’t realize that The AJC is actually making a profit these days. Their monthly subscription starts are greater than their stops and their investigative journalism and new layout has been well received by subscribers. The AJC has recognized their mistakes and is doing what they can to improve their image and the quality of their product.

    And if you’re not following AJC on twitter you should! They are quite clever and I get a good laugh every day. I also recommend following ajcwsbtraffic on twitter. It is BY FAR the best source for up to the minute details on your commute!

  12. The AJC moved to the suburbs in April. CL is really on top of this breaking news.
    Is 7 months their normal turn around reporting “news”?

  13. I’m sorry but twitter updates are not a substitute for good reporting. The new layout stresses “quick reads” previews, color pictures and indexes. Quite useless. Traffic updates? Again, pretty useless. If they are striving for relevance, a regional voice would be helpful, but they’ve thrown in the towel on the editorial page.

    1. Progressive Dem,
      How interesting that you knock twitter but so easily accept false reports that the word Sprawl has been banned from the AJC newsroom. You have no real facts to support this but were quick to believe them because they fit your agenda.

      And who said twitter was a substitute for journalism? LOL you’re good at being dramatic. but considering you seem to wrap your identity around the political party you support, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

      1. A personal attack is hardly called for. The subject at hand in the AJC’s changes, if you want to defend them, please feel free. Attacking me does nothing to justify the AJC position.

        Creative Loafing has stated in their article that the AJC has banned the word “sprawl”. In an email to WABE on the subject of the CL mock-up and the CL stories, AJC editor Julia Wallace does not contradict any of the CL facts or assertions. If it wan’t a fact, I assume Ms. Wallace would have said so. Until and unless the AJC denies that they have banned the word “sprawl”, it will remain an embarassing fact of the AJC bias. If you have insight into the AJC newsroom, please present those facts.

        Elizabeth above demonstrated some knowledge of the AJC with information about “subscriptions and stops” and the paper making a profit. She also found that the CL story was “melodramatic”. That melodramtic theme seems to be in common with your criticism of me being overly “dramatic”.

        To answer your question, “And who said twitter was a substitute for journalism?” – I wrote “twitter updates are not a substitute for good reporting”. Please tell me if you disagree. I think AJC resources on Twitter could be better spent on actual news gathering. I assume Twitter is being used as it is with most companies as a marketing tool. Marketing is not a substitute for good reporting.

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