- File Size: 1293 KB
- Print Length: 474 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: kNewspapers; 1st edition (December 12, 2012)
- Publication Date: December 12, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00DG16WPM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,730,173 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
kNewspapers: A Novel About Love and Citizen Journalism Kindle Edition
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From the Author
Asfor this universe, any resemblance to "reality" was notintentional and may just be a side effect of quantum entanglement orsome other phenomenon not currently totally understood by mankind.
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The plot: Journalism is dying and/or changing due to the onslaught of new forms of media. The main character of this novel, an alter ego to the real kPaul, I presume, is taking on the dinosaur corporate American news apparatus, which is struggling with sagging numbers, overstressed employees and runaway readers. But when there is no longer a newspaper to turn to, where can distraught citizens go to report certain forms of abuse? kPaul hopes to build an online grassroots citizen journalism haven after he is let go by a large Indiana newspaper.
The negatives: A little shocking is the utter lack of privacy between author and reader. Some details were just way too intimate for my taste. Then, the author often leads the reader out of the primary storyline into strange subplots, possible futures that then turn out to have been a fantasy, a fantasy of the millionaire win-the-lottery, climb-in-a-spaceship and just go variety. Particularly infuriating were the problems with women, especially Brandee, who in the book has three children. I did not quite understand why the main character had to bombard a single mother with countless texts and messages. She was surely exhausted.
The great positives: I do understand citizen journalism better now. kNewspapers as a novel is a monumental effort, and it is very well done, but at times I felt the author was holding me hostage. If he had told a straight story about Lynda, Brandee and his freepress websites, I would have gladly given a 5-star rave review. The Lynda story alone would have been a great book (sans the self-sabotage details).
My idea of a citizen journalist had always been an L.A. tourist who snaps a picture of a drunk celeb and sends it to the National Enquirer. I could not understand the million-dollar websites running strange articles, picking up the scraps MSM left the contributors to work with. I will always remember this book, but in my opinion, to be a novelist, one must write with one's hearts blood, and kPaul is a great writer, he should just learn to treat himself with more respect.
As a former journalist from one of the major networks, I can certainly agree about the future of journalism! I also liked the "character" of kPaul and his foibles.
I like but am not as enthusiastic about the "civic journalism" half of the book. The picaresque style -- so much, in structure, like "The Adventures of Augie March" -- works very well as you follow Malinksi in the sometimes madcap journey committing "acts of journalism" extending from Muncie, Ind., to Cleveland. There's a wonderful cast of secondary characters whom kPaul enlists to help him produce the journalistic community "conversation" that is missing from mainstream media. Time and again, kPaul talks about his grand mission, but I don't see any examples of specific conversations, whether in Muncie or Cleveland, that are engendered and what they produce (or fail to produce). This is not just kPaul's problem, but the big, nagging question for digital community journalism in real life everywhere in America. Some sites sometimes do succeed in launching conversations about a hot community issue, but what happens that makes a difference? Do these conversations lead to better schools, health and wellness and other community improvements? I'd like to have seen kPaul confront this reality as directly (and rudely) as he did in his would-be romances. kPaul learns about love -- the need to live it as well as think and write about it -- but what does he learn about civic journalism? For starters, I'd like to see how he deals with businesses who say no-thank-you to advertising on his sites - which I'm sure happens to the real kPaul. I'd also like to see the fictional kPaul trying to start a conversation about a specific major issue in Muncie or Cleveland, and then running up against the limitations of civic journalism as its currently practiced, and with the same deeply etched consequences of the love half of the novel.
Mallasch shows great intuition about men and women and how they approach love in what are, so often, fatefully different ways. There's always an audience for love stories, especially ones with contemporary complications. I'd like to see Mallasch write more love stories. His men and women can inhabit the world of citizen journalism, but, to me, their stories of love and other quests in their personal worlds hold more fictional promise. Maybe Mallasch should explore becoming the Raymond Carver of east-central Indiana and northeast Ohio.