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November 01, 2011


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the coffee philosopher

This is something I rarely say: I agree with Peter and I disagree with you.

Even in a reset, there is a great deal of value in roots and tradition and I see those being tossed aside without a clear endgame.

Also, while I also get a warm feeling inside when I read Richard Florida (yes - uber nerd that I am, I want folks to consider me part of the "creative class"), I also get an icky feeling knowing he took a lot of money from struggling, industrial cities just to tell them, "Of course, Youngstown, Ohio can become the next Williamsburg, Brooklyn!"

Of course, when the crash came, he issued a sort of apology, which essentially said, "Dear former steel mill town, I apologize if ever gave you hope of being anything other than a dying shell of your former greatness. My bad. See you in San Francisco!"


I love St. Pete. I was born here, grew up here, bought a house here, but I've learned not to have too strong of an emotional connection to things here. The world is dominated by money. It's why Al Lang Stadium is called Progress Energy Park why we call the dome Tropicana Field and not the Florida Suncoast Dome.It's why Carl Crawford plays for the Red Sox. The newspaper is a business. I wish they would keep calling themselves the St. Petersburg Times, but I'm not going to romanticize my news source. It's just news. Great cities aren't defined by their newspaper.

Benjamin J. Kirby

Funny enough, I agree with both of you in a lot of ways.

@thecoffeephilosopher, I understand the Richard Florida grain of salt, I really do. I just happen to think that he's on to something, and we either need to kind of get on board intellectually or get left behind. I see the argument of "keep the name of the newspaper the same!" as kind of an intellectual cry for help. Yes, roots are important, tradition is important, but those roots and traditions are established by people in communities, not corporate names.

The case in point I had the entire time I wrote this post was the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheater. All due respect to Gary, does the name of the forum where you see a great show make the show better or worse or not affect it at all? If I read a great story in the newspaper (which is to say, at www.TampaBay.com), does it matter if the name at the front is Tampa Bay Times or St. Petersburg Times?

This goes to @Kev's point.

With that being said, great cities aren't defined by their newspapers, but a great newspaper is a requisite for a great city... or region.

I feel a little bit like the name change thing is a distraction from a larger conversation we could and should be having about changing media dynamics. St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Bay Times -- hey, whatever in the hell it's called, is it still a great paper?

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