The Death of the Newspaper

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Feb 6, 2009 8:13 AM EST
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)
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LXer Feature: 06-Feb-2009

Why does the newspaper deserve to be saved? Just because they have been around for a long time? That is not a good enough reason for me. Or the arguments that society will somehow be lessened by their absence or be less informed without them is arrogant and presumptuous.

I am sorry to say that most newspapers do not deserve to be saved, yes even the one in my hometown. They have become no more than mouthpieces for their owners and editorial staffs most of the time. They are more concerned with molding public opinion than informing them. Giving the public real information is counteractive to that purpose. What little real investigating and real news that is done, is either never seen, kept unpublished until the subject matter is no longer relevant or rewritten to say what the brass want it to say. Any real search for, or telling of the "truth" has long since been brushed aside.

People crave information, if newspapers had been doing the job of informing their audience like they claim they are then that audience would not be looking for information in other places like they have been for some time now. The problem is not the newspaper, its the ownership and editorial staff being more beholden to what they want over the papers function of informing the public and letting the readers decide for themselves.

All the talk is about these 'poor' papers not making the money they want/need and how we will all be worse off without them is starting to grind on me. It will be a lot less dead trees that's for sure, and that can't be too bad a thing. I don't think we will be lost without them either, certainly not to the extreme that it is described. It is always this "huge void" or "social loss" when the closing of a newspaper is talked about.

What is going to happen is what has happened before, very much like when newspapers first got their start. Newspapers all but destroyed illiteracy, the internet will all but destroy technological illiteracy. If people wanted to get the news, they had to learn how to read. If people are going to get the news in the future, they're going to have to learn how to use a computer or the equivalent thereof. The way we in which we communicate is evolving, and will continue to do so. I guess you could just watch TV your whole life and never learn how to read, but would you consider yourself informed? But I digress.

The quality of the news that an audience think they are receiving is in direct relation to who they trust to give it to them I believe, and the newspapers and news channels have lost that trust. I am not saying that the Internet is intrinsically more trustworthy because it is not true. But then neither are newspapers or news channels, but don't tell them that. The problem is that the newspapers and news channels must convince us they are more trustworthy and that we just couldn't live without them in order to justify their continued existence.

But we could, and we will. And that's the elephant in the room that they don't want us to see. They don't want us to see that there will come a day when there are no more newspapers, and guess what? We'll still be getting the news.

» Read more about: Story Type: Editorial, LXer Features

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Subject Topic Starter Replies Views Last Post
I grew up in NYC with the New York Times Net_Resident 25 2,117 Feb 8, 2009 4:09 PM
This is what happens... land0 4 1,578 Feb 6, 2009 9:42 PM
But Scott theboomboomcars 4 1,739 Feb 6, 2009 7:38 PM
Not just technological change, rejection of editorial bias. Bob_Robertson 5 1,912 Feb 6, 2009 4:16 PM

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