Many newspapers are struggling for survival, but do people really care if they lose their daily paper? A new poll by the Pew Research Center says ... not really. PRC President Andrew Kohut gives us a quick overview of the results.
Well, I'm 58, Rebecca, and I have watched the quality of our hometown papers decline terribly in my lifetime and that lack of quality has contributed to the decline in the interest in the product and I do believe it has much to do with corporate over-leveraging.
Also, as far as objectivity in the press, it might be good to remember that our first President Adams' long-lasting annimosity toward his old friend, future President Jefferson, grew out of Jefferson's hiring of a journalist to write outright lies about Adams during his campaign against him.
I'm 16 years old. I care that newspapers are dying out. So does the rest of my journalism class. We want honest, objective news. Do you think we will find that on the Internet? No, I don't. Newspapers will stay in longer then we all expect because people will want a reliable, trustworthy source. Lying on the Internet is far too easy.
I just turned 31. I have always shied away from mainstream local newspapers. They present diluted information that is neither "news breaking" nor informative enough on the popular topics to be interesting to anyone who really cares to know what is really going on or the details of the rather obvious events taking place. It is so sad to see the papers that are truly on the edge; investigating serious issues and getting the real dirt, are the ones that are going out of business. I truly hope that the underground passion does not die along with the papers themselves. I understand that the reporters and journalists feel homeless now - but I have high hopes that they will continue to find a way to get this news out to those who care to find it! We will find you!! A new adventure awaits - a truly underground and insightful culture is in the making! At least we have freedom of speech -
Again, the fallacy that news originates from newspapers rears its ugly head.
Andrew, the business problem with newspapers isn't that people don't find them useful or that they're unprofitable, it's that the "irrational business executives" have more debt than they can afford to pay back.
As more and more money moves online, you'll see more and more new news organizations crop up. Ones that aren't over-leveraged.
43 per cent, as you point out, Andrew, is a large market of people. The difference between newspapers and the Web is that it has far lower overhead and a lower start-up cost.
I was instantly inflamed by the timely personal irony of this story, not just because I found myself, at the ripe age of 48, cast by association amongst the "oldsters," as Kohut puts it, but because just the day before I heard this broadcast, I'd shared the following sentiments with a member of my own local daily:
"Perhaps that's the very reason I worry so with every new announcement about McClatchy's cuts; I feel like my source of community pride (not to mention my #1 news source) is under attack by irrational business executives 3,000 miles distant and just about as far removed from the news values and customers they serve. I wonder what will become of my beloved News & Observer ..."
Once again, OTM asks the penetrating questions, but in all too typical style, accepts without critical challenge any characterization the interviewee chooses to ascribe to the facts -- in this case, Pew's polling stats.
When was it decided that if 43 out of every 100 adults have concerns about the welfare of civic life sans local press, that it's an insignificant issue? It's a tiny minority of "influentials" who run local government in the first place; set policy, tolerate, facilitate and participate in corruption and ineptitude, and squander public resources. If 43 percent of the citizenry are worried that the minority influence won't be adequately monitored and checked without aggressive, adversarial local news scrutiny, then that is no small matter.
Grow a pair, Bob. Question your guests' perceptions and challenge their conclusions. Forty-frickin'-three percent! Generalize the data nationwide and you've got tens of millions of adults who do give a damn -- you know, that oldster minority with the power and influence and moral conviction to protect the powerless masses who don't participate in civic life yet anyway.
Now go back and do your interview right. Otherwise, On the Media's demise may seem just as inconsequential to the other 43 percent of us, too.
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