Thursday, December 18, 2008

death of newspapers

With the immanent bankruptcy of the tribune, some people, both outside and inside their industry have been discussing the financial in's and out's of the business. Seems no one inside the business has been willing to address the issue of bias, and how it may have played a role in their financial collapse.

Starting on Credit Slips, I traced commentary on the matter, to find out if they could be honest with each other. Beginning with the article, itself, the author (whom I know nothing about) says

Truth-seeking (for better or worse) has never been a for-profit
activity.. [and] If we as a country want to continue having a written representative in the “fourth branch” of government, we’re going to have to come up with another one.

I don't know if by "for better or worse," she is admitting right here that "truth" is not a reality in the newspaper business. As for the "forth branch of government" - the for profit news business of the MSM has become just a branch of the most liberal aspects of the Democratic Party. But will they get this?

I will say, right up front, that I read the local newspaper and watch the local news. It does two things that I can not yet get on line. I get local news, and I get an assortment of stories. On line, it tends to be national news, and I only get news that the sites I go to consider worthy. Of course, in the paper and on TV I get a lot of national news and only what the newspaper's editorial board feels is newsworthy, but it is a much wider variety.

The article mentions about investigative reporters and foreign bureaus. They are correct that blogging cannot replace these things. A new business model must emerge, where these people are paid a wage (or compensation) for their gathering of content. Someone must go out and gather content that corporations and governments don't want gathered, and support of those who do that is a must if we are not to slide into the Orwellian word of "1984"

Some other items in article and comments below it may be found incorrect in the future. The assembling of the news into a cohesive and eclectic (a paradox, I know) format can be done by blog editors, and even automation, just as well as an editorial board. There are already services that do this, such as The Memorandum and, though at this time they still rely on the main stream news to provide the actual content. But this is an early phase.

Why no one seems to want to call them on the fact that one of the things MSM is killing itself with is their leftist views and political entanglements is beyond me. It may be that the Internet is killing the revenue stream for the newspapers, but it is their own lack of integrity that will assure their death. We can only hope that ultimately a day will come that a new version of news agency will emerge to fill the void.

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