The exemplary Lynn Hopper: paper cuts

Dateline: Thu 17 Sep 2009

Lynn Hopper, a longtime friend and colleague at the Star, got her notice from Lifestyle editor Tina Swarens regarding the antiques column Lynn has written for the Star for 30 years now.  Here is the coup de grace re: the antiques column, sent in an email to Lynn this week:

"Lynn:
   We are changing the content for the inside of the Star's Home & Garden section. Unfortunately, we will no longer include an antiques column. The last antiques column we will need is the one for the Oct. 10 Home & Garden section.

   Thank you for all your hard work in writing the column. You may refer contacts to me."

Lynn will still be writing her Plainfield-based blog, which is a treat to read, even if you are not from Hencricks County or Plainfield.  You can find her words and observations by clicking on "community" or "Hendricks County" on Indystar.com.

Here is what Lynn, 75, says about her endeavors:

"Hi! I've been in journalism for nearly 55 years, and I love everything about it. This part is new to me, however! I've lived in the Plainfield area for 53 years, now in Liberty Township, so although Plainfield is my new beat, there will be news from here, too. Feel free to give me news tips! E-mail me at lynnhopper9@gmail.com"

As for "What I am passionate about" she writes: "Fariness," and that is the God's truth.

This blog wishes her continued success. And we will miss antiques.

For those who love features, garden writers Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp and Dick Crum will continue their Saturday columns.


Comments

StarStruck [unverified] said:

This is a huge loss. Lynn is very knowledgeable about antiques and has a large following. I hope they get tons of complaints after her column is gone. And why do they need TWO garden writers? Crum is a nice guy, but his stuff is filler.

Kudos to Lynn for ALL her wonderful years in journalism! Please tune in to her blog, www.indystar.com/bloggingplainfield

2009-09-17 21:20:12

ruthholl [Member] said:

Thanks for that exact blog address.

2009-09-17 21:45:28

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I'm puzzled. Just how did this wonderful column, and the garden one too for that matter, change the style and direction of the section?

Why was it necessary to cut it? I'm guessing they weren't paying her a lot.

This seems mean.

2009-09-18 05:43:20

Star Geezer [unverified] said:

Mean?
Really?
With all that info on the web, who needs an antiques column anyway.
Hmmm.
Come to think of it, with all the news on the internet, who needs The Star?

2009-09-18 12:52:23

John Howard [unverified] said:

But I would bet the insipid '@Home' weekly feature, where they snap a few photos of some upscale home, will continue.

2009-09-18 13:44:16

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Of course it will, John Howard. Because Carmel and Geist never get enough exposure, huh?

Geezer, I meant it: mean. "Changing the content" ? Really? It was already about as silly and repetitive as it could get...the antiques column was among the paper's best-read in every survey they've done. There has to be another reason.

I can't think of another, other than mean. Or, ignoring their readers' desires. Which is also mean. And stupid.
They're losing readers by the truckload.

And when you send that kind of insensitive e-mail to a longtime columnist, without picking up the phone or having a personal conversation...well, the method of notification was mean-spirited, insensitive and unwise.

If Swarens has no more fetchins-up than this, he must've been raised by wolves.



2009-09-19 03:57:55

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

I think Gannett is trying to make the Star as anonymous as possible, content wise. Except for sports. (Good god did you see today's column inches devoted to "special" coverages?!)

Getting rid of bylines, one by one, or by the boxload, helps give the newspaper a certain corporate facelessness. As the Star continues devolving into its handout/wire service format, the elimination of bylines and their owners also serve to cut overhead. Thus it becomes an anytime anywhere newspaper, without timliness, local perspective or bylined content.

Anyone with a byline these days probably should be worried. Very worried.

2009-09-19 07:44:07

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

There are some bylines that need to go, Tom. I could name names...but....

However your point is well-taken.

2009-09-19 13:17:28

star geezer [unverified] said:

Actually, I did have my tongue in my cheek when I said "Mean? Really?" since mean is Gannett's modus operandi.

In any case, they're trying to eliminate all "LOCAL" from the paper so that we can just all switch over to USA Today and be done with this city paper nonsense.

Can you imagine a Tom Keating writing a daily column in today's Indy Star?

2009-09-19 15:06:18

John Howard [unverified] said:

Thought you might like another data point regarding layoffs in journalism:

http://unityjournalists.org/news/2009/news091709layoffs.php

2009-09-21 18:15:56

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