Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The frightening future of newspaper production workers

A frightening glimpse of the future for newspaper press operators, distributors, truck drivers, deliverers, paper manufacturers and ink makers surged into my consciousness while I lying in a hospital bed a couple of weeks ago. It was a Monday, a day I always read Paul Krugman’s column in the New York Times. My traditional paper version of the New York wasn’t available so I picked up my Kindle and purchased that day’s copy of the Times in electronic form.
As I read the Times, I realized that the Kindle edition is easier to read than the paper-print version and that a grim future is near at hand for newspaper production workers. As more and more Kindles and similar e-reading devices are sold, the market for e-versions of the New York Times, Newsday, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, etc. will expand exponentially.
Pushing the expansion will be the price, ease of delivery, and the green reality. Cost: Currently, I pay $46.80 a month for the Times paper edition, while the Kindle version is $14.06 a month. Delivery: Lately, I have been enduring such lousy delivery service—no paper on five mornings on a five-week period—and wet papers almost every time it rained. An e-edition of Newsday for example appeared on screen within four seconds. The Greening Reality: Every other week, I fill two huge baskets with copies of the New York Times and Newsday to be recycled.
Just as e-books barely existed five years ago and now are taking a significant share of the books market, the growth of e-newspapers is inevitable. With that growth will come the undermining of the bargaining power of the newspaper unions, which enabled their members to enjoy decent standards of living.
Journalists will still have jobs, but the outlook for those production and distribution workers is frightening.

A suggestion: My novel, THE PENCIL ARTIST is available as an e-book on Smashwords, Kindle, and Barnes and Noble; as a paperback on Amazon.

Friday, November 5, 2010


My latest novel, THE TRUCKERS, is available as a paperback on and as an e-book via Amazon’s Kindle and There is no hiding the root of THE TRUCKERS: the decades-long struggle by Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) to reform the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. There are two protagonists in the novel: Tommy K and Helmut Knall. Tommy K is a daring and successful leader of both his New York local and the Truckers International Union. He flashes across the union firmament like a comet, is consumed in the process and emerges as a legendary figure. Helmut can be compared to an infantryman, an eternal soldier, who moves relentlessly and fearlessly towards the seemingly impossible goal of transforming the Truckers into a progressive union. And of course, there is the woman from Colorado.

A suggestion: my novel, THE TRUCKERS, has been described as a fun read. It is serious and tragic too. Try it free on KindleSmashwordsBarnes and Noble, or Apple.