Bob Eighmie/For Miami Herald

Big Jim's Return?

This photo comes from Dave Barry's Annual Gift Guide, which was published Sunday in the Miami Herald. The picture comes from the motorized ice cream cone bit. Is that who I think it is? I'm not 100 percent sure, but if not, there is a veritable Jim DeFede clone walking around. My God, there can't be more DeFedes. They'll devour the entire journalism landscape in no time, leaving us all jobless.

But if that is DeFede, and I have to think it is, he finally made it back into the Miami Herald after his abrupt firing last year following the Teele suicide. With his radio and TV gigs, along with the knocks the Herald has had to its reputation over the past year, you might call it slumming.

After the Jump: The Sentinel is better than the Herald?

Romenesko has got people submitting their lists for Top Ten newspapers in America. Just a couple have put the Miami Herald on their lists. And a couple have put the St. Pete Times up there. The Palm Beach Post haven't made anyone's cut. But U.S. News and World Report deputy managing editor Tim Smart gave them a mention. Here's his letter:

From TIM SMART. Forget just US.

1) FT 2) NYT 3) WSJ 4) Guardian 5) WP 6) St. Petersburg Times 7) USA Today

Beyond that it is all fish wrap....I used to work at the Herald and it is abominable now. The Sun Sentinel is actually much better.

All due respect, Tim, but someone hasn't been paying attention. Calling the Sun-Sentinel better than the Herald just doesn't live up to your last name.

Personally, I find the whole exercise depressing. Newspapers are in decline and getting worse. Of that, I am convinced. Naming a ten best is like naming the top ten diseases or ten most effective agricultural pestilences as far as I'm concerned.

Don't get me wrong. There's great pockets of work still being done at most newspapers, including our Big Three. And there's great reporters all over Florida. It's the newspapers that are killing newspapers, not the talent. More and more the figure heads in the newsrooms have no guts and seem afraid of actually telling the truth (the buildup to the Iraq War being the most profound failure of all). It's corporate crap and it's getting worse. Definitely.

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