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Death of Daily News as we know it

Leslie Monteiro

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I grew up reading newspapers as a 10-year-old kid. I was fascinated with the back page of both of the New York dallies in the New York Post and New York Daily News. I was so into the paper back then mainly because of its design and layout. It was appealing like a beautiful girl at a congregation.

There was nothing like newspaper ink on my hands and the smell of the paper as I was reading through it. It’s how I got into sports. I was able to learn so many things on how to write and what made athletes and coaches tick. The newspapers helped build a bond within the community when it came to a big sporting event such as the Knicks playoff run in the 90s.

As I grew older, I got into a sportswriting bug. I wrote up my own columns for myself. I aspired to be the next Ian O’Connor, the late Vic Ziegel and Mark Kriegel. I did this for my own fun and to show it to friends who wanted my opinion on the games. It was my supervisor that convinced me to write for a community newspaper, and she helped me get a newspaper gig 12 years ago. She also inspired me to write for sports sites like the one you currently read.

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All of this because of my youth.

So when the Daily News cut the sports department from 34 employees to nine while laying off 12 photographers and several editors, it was disheartening. It marked the end of the paper as we know it. The paper was already dying as it is after the 2016 layoffs, and now they basically destroyed the toy department aka the sports department.

There’s no reason to buy the newspaper anymore since Chicago-based Tronc that runs the Daily News will focus on breaking news, politics and crime coverage on its digital format.

The Daily News was better off going out of business rather than continuing with this charade after reading the paper that featured few sports stories from its writers and junk from the wire service such as the Associated Press for the last two days. It’s unacceptable for a proud city that a long time newspaper would be like a pamphlet.

It should have never came down to this, even if people decided not to read the newspapers anymore or get their information on the Internet. Where else can anyone find breaking news on sports? Where else can anyone know about strategy from a coach or what a player is thinking in a big moment? Who is going to capture moments in sports? Where else we would get honest commentary? The Daily News provided that, and then some.

For a big sporting event or sports news that takes place in New York City, getting a newspaper is a must. There’s nothing like enjoying every moment of it through words and pictures in a newspaper. The newspapers were a priority to me when big moments took place.

In fact, the Daily News did a great job covering local politics and exposing the corruption that goes on with the city’s politics. It kept government officials accountable. That itself is why the layoffs make it so painful to accept.

The bottom line is the News is an institution and a fabric part of the city. It represented the working class of the city. It’s what New Yorkers associated along with the Post. Even when visitors from around the world and around the country come to New York, they always bought the Daily News along with the New York Post.

It’s hard to accept what the paper has now become. Yes, we live in different times now where we get our information from the Internet and where we go to Twitter for breaking news, but again, newspapers provided commentary about what goes on in politics, sports and business. The Daily News was our watchdog.

It’s one thing for Denver, Cincinnati and Seattle to turn into a one-paper town after having two newspapers at one time, but it’s another when New York is basically a one-paper town. Those cities come nowhere close to New York when it comes to sports, politics and living.

The Daily News does not have a functioning sports department now, which is sad since their sports section was one of the best in the country when the paper was in its zenith. This paper will likely cover national stories than local stories, which means bashing President Donald J. Trump sells papers and getting clicks.

The paper is alive physically, but it’s dead spiritually.

Look, we are not crying for the writers that got laid off since they will somehow bounce back based on their resume, but no one can say the same about photographers, editors and designers that make up the heart of the newspaper. Without them, what’s the point of running a newspaper?

Monday was a dark day in the city. It set the death of the newspaper. It will never be the same. The salad days of the News will never be replicated again. It’s hard to accept for a 38-year-old gentleman that always had this once proud newspaper as his company.

The paper can sell provocative back pages and front pages, but it would be pointless without editors and writers that make up the paper.

New Yorkers were the losers of the layoffs of all the parties.

For all intents and purposes, we are a one-city newspaper.

That’s hard to accept.

Leslie Monteiro is a syndicated sports columnist who writes about the Tri-State area teams for the Upstate Courier. He is based in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and can be reached on Twitter @MongoGoesInSane.

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