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The Courant–a day late and a dollar short–and a dollar more

The words Courant and current sound the same. The similarity ends there.

The Courant, which, in 2020, began printing in Springfield and closed its Broad Street newsroom, has become anything but current.

Nobody objects to a reprint of a brilliant piece from the Times showing up a day or two after its initial release or some syndicated reporter contributing an article written and published elsewhere. But one would think that a local paper, even one printed out of state, could at least cover local sports on time. The day after Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run, a Courant article underscored (and headlined) his frustration over being unable to hit number 62. It was a decent piece from an AP writer, but it was laughably out of date two hours after he turned it in

That kind of thing doesn't matter much in the technological age—for up-to-date items, we turn to our phones—but the Courant "coverage" of high school sports has become a travesty.

In the past, a coach might forget to phone in a score, or some basketball game would wind up in several overtimes. As a result, those scores would appear a day late. Now, however, every high school score appears a day late. On Mondays we get Saturday's football scores; on Wednesdays, Monday's volleyball games. There isn't even a pretense of being current.

We all understand deadlines and time constraints, but the Courant apparently gets put to bed so early that it must go without dinner. Otherwise, how does one explain why a soccer match that ends at 5:00 p.m. is too late for the following morning's edition? I coach a spring sport, and I call in my scores religiously. I think I am representative of what the typical coach does so that the team members and parents of athletes and other coaches can see the scores listed THE NEXT DAY. (Incidentally, when calling in scores last spring, I no longer spoke to a human but left them "after the beep." I suppose the employee replaced by a recording was the one who handled high school sports. Note to Tribune Publishing: hire that person back, or find another to do the job.)

Every once in a while, the Courant self-promotes the necessity of competent journalism, then does everything possible to contradict that need. I listened to Trump denigrate journalists for four years and cheered the newspapers' responses. We need our reporters and editorialists, but we need ownership to do a job besides increasing the bottom line for executives.

In 2022 our cell phones are always ready to update us, rendering the function of the morning paper different than it was a generation ago. But what newspapers can do, they should do well. I don't get my weather from the newspaper, but local high school and college scores deserve to be treated as news, not nostalgia.

Furthermore, compiling scores in some template does not sound like a highly skilled task. Some high school students with aspirations for journalism could do it in their sleep. And they can be paid with some of the ad money the paper amasses on those quarterly "special" editions.

If the Courant is no longer interested in being current, it shouldn't sound like what it isn't. The Hartford Delayed would be a terrible name for a newspaper, but it would be less disappointing.

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