Memo to the New York Times: Self-congratulatory paper crowns mean nothing. A rotting industry cannot prop itself up with those old tricks. Why the Charleston Gazette-Mail is a microcosm for an obtuse, dead industry.

The New York Times has a silly piece on the Charleston Gazette-Mail bankruptcy problem:

For decades, The Charleston Gazette-Mail in West Virginia has exposed corruption, greed and incompetence with a tenacity that was rewarded last year with journalism’s highest honor, a Pulitzer Prize. But the newspaper now faces a painful reality: No matter how strong its journalism, no publication is immune to the economic pressure on the industry.

This is the part where journalists always mess up with their credulity: they can never understand the paper crowns they give themselves are not some sort of feint or amulet that can protect them from the reality they choose to ignore, nor fool all of the people all of the time.

We won an award! We have immunity from reality!

No, you don't. You go after some people, while giving others a free pass. You ignore some outrages, while justifying other ones.

When you cherry-pick you who decide to clobber, you are a weapon and a tool for one cabal over another.

If you went after people who harm others, regardless of their political leaning, you'd have credibility.

But that's not what happens. There is a rig in the way you report on things, and when that happens, it no longer becomes reportage, but propaganda.

No one really cares or remembers who won awards. They can be a very feather in your cap, but you can't dine on an award.

And when your paper is floundering and not connecting to the community, you have to question just how in tune with your environment you truly are.

But journalists never learn. They always use the same meaningless symbols to create their fortress from reality.

It's not working anymore, and the even this article is highly manipulative: it never looks at the flaws of the newspaper's business model; it blames everything else under the sun but them.

They do imply that buying a "right-leaning" newspaper made their situation worse, which is silly.

Journalism's problems far deeper than that, but as long as they cling on to their hypothetical constructs and sanctioned insanity, their fortunes will remain unsalvageable.