Some of the 2019 reads.

Goodreads says I read 29 books in 2019, 10,625 pages at a time. (It also tells me that the shortest book I read, “Fahrenheit 451,” was the most-read on the platform and that the longest, a 900-page collection of four Ross Macdonald novels, has been read by the fewest Goodreads members. Coincidence? Probably not.) I am a slow reader, drawn as much to the structure of the narrative as its plot, so I pause over a clause and fret the predicates. …


Before 9 a.m., New Orleans is also behind a paywall.

Yesterday, a dear friend and longtime newspaper editor was grousing online about the term “reader revolution.” He wanted everyone to know that 10, 20, 30 and 40 years ago, we served readers, too. It’s true: We delivered quality information and big, important stories, obituaries, the first draft of history and a lot more without all the technological advantages young journalists have today.

With respect, however, I think he entirely misunderstands the concept and is deluding himself about our mindset when he and I broke into the business in the 1970s. At the time, we took enormous satisfaction in being “the…


Apparently, newspapers aren’t the only business that has been giving away the product. The intersection of Bourbon Street and Ursulines Avenue, New Orleans.

Let’s create a propensity model that informs our econometrics with respect to the time cone.

OK, I don’t know what that means either, but stuff like that sure did sound impressive at ONA19 in New Orleans on the week of Sept. 11, 2019. It was the 20th annual convention of the Online News Association and the largest gathering of smart-sounding, slightly drunk invaders to the Crescent City since 1814, when the British stumbled through the bayou to lose the Battle of New Orleans.

Before I go any further, know that I loved it. It was energizing, upbeat, interesting, stimulating and…


Earlier this month, we learned that Starbucks plans to remove newspaper sales racks from its 8,600 U.S. locations. If you are unconcerned, perhaps it is because you are reading this on your digital device.

If, on the other hand, you are a newspaper publisher, the company’s decision is as cold as a venti Frappuccino in winter. It is not only a real hit to the circulation fortunes of the New York Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal — the only newspapers most stores now carry — it is symbolic as well. …


Jan. 16, 1943 — July 15, 2019

On the day my father died, I read a 50-year-old Kurt Vonnegut short story called, “Fortitude.” I didn’t do so on purpose. It just happened to be the short story I turned to next while thumbing my way through a four-volume collection of everything Vonnegut ever wrote.

“Fortitude” is Vonnegut’s “Frankenstein” story. Dr. Frankenstein’s creation in this one was a decapitated head that belonged to a Mrs. Lovejoy. All her organs were housed in a separate room and were connected to Mrs. Lovejoy’s head via a complicated series of tubes, knobs and chemicals. In the story, Mrs. Lovejoy gets a…


Mike, Clay, Neil, Lauren and Erik dispensing the wisdom at the CNPA State of the News conference.

It was great to reconnect with my brethren at the California News Publishers Association’s annual legislative affairs gathering in Sacramento this week. I confess that I have largely bypassed traditional state press club gatherings over the last few years. That is because they had morphed into rather dismal affairs.

Mind you, I’m not talking about the actual content arranged by hard-working press association staffers who remain among journalism’s most enduring champions. (Although, I had noticed that seminars and panel discussions have changed over my 40 years in the business. There was a time when they offered writing tips, help getting…


From our Instagram feed, nothing more or less than the life of the coast revealed. Photos by Kyle Ludowitz

These continue to be exciting times at the Half Moon Bay Review. We are less than a month into new ownership and the feedback has been incredible. We rarely have an hour go by without someone telling us how thankful they are for the Review and the fact that locals stepped up to assure it continued on firm financial ground, with a growth mindset. In many ways, little has changed: our news organization continues to produce a weekly newspaper, two beloved glossy monthly lifestyle magazines and assorted periodicals and web products.

Against that backdrop, we’re looking for a publisher. Actually…


My job filed divorce papers, so I renewed my vows. Which, I guess, makes me a hopeless romantic and someone who has always suffered a bit for what sometimes seems my unrequited love for journalism.

In September 2017, my boss at Wick Communications called to say the company intended to sell the Half Moon Bay Review. The details of that decision remain largely unimportant to me. It’s no secret that legacy newspapers that once ran 25 percent margins have struggled, particularly over the last 15 years or so. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but online platforms like…


This week, Medium announced that it intended to pay at least some contributors something based on the number of “claps” (which used to be “hearts,” which were essentially “likes”) that a contribution generated.

This is a terrible idea from a wonderful platform I have adored since its inception and the reason I canceled my paid membership today.

Succinctly put, we shouldn’t measure the value of media by the reaction it elicits. While that seems blindingly obvious to anyone who has toiled for newspapers as long as I have, there are apparently those among us who consider any other value proposition…


Most of the books I read in the past year…

“And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: when property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: when a majority of the people are hungry and cold they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed…”

John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

Last year, I read 32 books, 10,905 pages. I know because I’m…

Clay Lambert

Editorial director for the Half Moon Bay Review

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