Saturday, February 2, 2008

[Media] Rogue Columnist on the Newspaper Industry

This is really, really good, one of the best "this is what's wrong with the newspaper industry" pieces I've ever seen:

Mary McCarthy said famously of Lillian Hellman: “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the’.”

It’s tempting to say the same about the many diagnoses of what ails the newspaper world. We hear endlessly that the troubles are a result of the Internet, new technology, “people don’t read anymore,” and, my favorite, “people don’t have as much time as they used to.” As if there was once a 36-hour day, or people who once worked 12-hour shifts while raising large families had this abundance of time.

These forces are real. And yes, a big swath of the public is distracted by celebrity gossip and gets its “news” from blogs, television and talk radio. What’s less noted is how newspapers themselves contributed to the dumbing down of America. What’s most frustrating is that the discussion fails to focus on the more significant reasons behind the decline in newspaper journalism. They are:

Go read for the reasons.


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