Newspapers Go To Washington

Friday, September 25, 2009


Washington is paying attention to the newspaper crisis. The president has even weighed in. But some worry that any government help would create a conflict of interest. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), sponsor of The Newspaper Revitalization Act, and Jim Moroney, publisher of The Dallas Morning News discuss what role, if any, the government should play in saving newspapers.

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Comments [6]

Rolf Olsen from Lebanon, NH

Hello? Isn’t the role of newspapers to keep readers objectively informed about all the news, including issues and candidates? Then, theoretically, individual readers make decisions on their own and vote accordingly. Why do newspapers think they are entitled to influence elections by endorsing candidates or issues – just because they always have? Sorry, doesn’t cut it. The idea that a person would bring their local paper into the voting booth is ludicrous and even a little frightening to me. If newspapers wish to remain completely independent and operate as for-profit enterprises, then that’s fine. The nonprofit model, which makes some sense to me, would mean newspaper owners need to give up taking sides in elections. Me? I do enjoy the tactile, sensory experience of a physical morning paper, and I’m grateful for the modicum of local news I get in our local rag and I hope it continues until I’m no longer able to hold it.. But I’m also starting to enjoy my news brought to my via my iPod Touch each morning, from the New York Times and other places. Something needs to change.

PS - Bob Garfield is my hero.

Sep. 28 2009 07:58 PM
Brian Joyce from Boston, MA

The newspaper beneficiaries of such a bill are virtually all megaphonic cheerleaders for their local corporate monopoly ball teams which are composed of numerous multimillionaires almost all of whom are male.

Sep. 28 2009 10:17 AM
Matt W. from Arlington, Virginia

Considering the bias Maryland Newspapers have against Republicans and in favor of Democrats like Senator Cardin it isn't a conflict at all. Just a formalization of the relationship.

Sep. 27 2009 02:19 PM
Kat from Baltimore

Having grown up and graduate J-school in the Netherlands, where no newspapers formally endorse any political candidates, I've always been amazed at this American phenomenon. If you claim you are unbiased and impartial, how can you endorse a candidate? And how can you expect your readership to believe that you are impartial and unbiased afterward?
Considering the polarization of the media today, maybe a mute point, but one that I would've liked seen addressed.

Sep. 27 2009 11:18 AM
Alfred Hermida from Vancouver

Talking about a newspaper revitalization bill is tantamount to having proposed, 100 years ago, a horse carriage revitalization bill.

The horse carriage was replaced by the car, yet how many manufacturers went on to be part of the auto industry?

The issue here isn't saving a specific mechanism to deliver the news. The issue is about saving journalism.

It isn't about saving the institutions that has historically provided quality journalism. It is about ensuring that quality journalism survives and continues, whether it comes from existing institutions or from emerging or yet to be created news organizations.

Sep. 26 2009 09:31 PM
Robert from NYC

None, no role AT ALL. The media have become too chummy already with Washington politicians already. I haven't read a newspaper in over 30 years and find myself excluding more and more news programs from my "things to watch" list because of the kind of crappy not-the-watchdogs-we're-supposed-to-be and mediocre reporting we get. I call it the "suck-up media".

Sep. 26 2009 09:22 AM

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