the AJC is not for me

It is, in my opinion, a damn shame that Atlanta is essentially a one-newspaper town. Granted, there are alternatives; there’s the Loaf, if you’re willing to take your news stories with a side of left-wing idiocy (I’m sorry, Chuck, but for me John Sugg hits exactly the same nerve as Sean Hannity does, and it’s not a pleasant feeling), and the rather narrowly focused (in different ways) Atlanta Business Chronicle and Southern Voice, and the regionally minded Gwinnett Daily Post, and the venerable Atlanta Daily World, poorly designed web page and all. But there’s nothing that competes with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, in terms of either circulation or name recognition outside the city.

I would love to hear opinions on the AJC besides those which I usually hear, which are usually expressed in terms of the scatological. (I’ll admit to a bias: I worked for Atlanta Magazine on and off in the late 1990s, and in the grand tradition of every publication in town bashing every other publication in town, we were not terribly fond of the newspaper. Nor it of us. Nor the Loaf of either of us.) I like Cynthia Tucker, though I can’t say I’ve read her in a while. I like the weekly column that highlights internationally-minded stores. And I might still enjoy the sports columnists whose roster hasn’t changed since Ailene Voisin left, if they weren’t kept under lock and key in a bizarre premium package.

So, feel free to defend the AJC. Only not their online registration system — you know, the one that requires an address and household income just to register? Never you mind, AJC. Never you mind.

3 Comments so far

  1. chuck (unregistered) on August 16th, 2004 @ 3:48 pm

    Don’t worry about me, Jessica. I may be a leftist, but John Sugg gives me a headache, too, sometimes. I don’t think his writing is terribly persuasive, and sometimes I think he veers into tinfoil hat territory (as when he wrote about the Christian Reconstructionists a few months ago).

    I’d agree that it’s a real problem that the AJC has no real competition and that it has resulted in some lazy reporting and limited options in the editorial page (I do read John Wooten’s “Thinking Right” every Friday just to increase my blood pressure).

    Like you, I appreciate Cynthia Tucker. Her columns are usually fairly well-argued, although I don’t always read them. The decision to lock up the sports columnists (who are generally an interesting bunch, especially Bradley and Moore) as premium content is *very* annoying. BTW, when I registered for the AJC, I gave them their own telephone number rather than giving them mine. Very satisfying, if unsubstantial, way of sticking it to the man.

  2. Steve Huff (unregistered) on August 16th, 2004 @ 4:37 pm

    You are scaring me because I tend to agree with you and I can’t ever bring myself to describe myself as anything remotely like a conservative. As for John Sugg, well, we take grooming tips from the same book, but I have to agree with Chuck about the tinfoil hat thing-it was oddly enough the very article he pointed out about Christian Reconstructionists that made me blink a bit. Maybe I’m just agreeing instinctively because it sounds like you find Hannity odious, too. The most pleasant Nazi on radio, is our Sean.

  3. Rusty (unregistered) on August 16th, 2004 @ 10:15 pm

    Chuck, I enjoyed the CL Christian Reconstructionist article thoroughly. Then again, I spend much of my time in tinfoil hat territory.

    As for the AJC…

    Their stable of columnists is a joke and most of their news coverage is timid and shallow, with only a few exceptions. Ben Smith is a good writer, and the Political Insider column is decent. The sports section isn’t bad, though like Chuck, I don’t get to read much of it anymore.

    The mandatory free registration problem can be solved with a visit to They keep a database full of phony registration info. Don’t know if it’s legal, but it sure is fun.

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