Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Newsday-Tuesday: Internet killed the newspaper star

The chain that owns the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune is in bankruptcy. Other papers, large and small, are teetering on the brink.

On Monday, the Ann Arbor (Michigan) News announced that it will publish its last edition in July. Taking its place will be a Web site called AnnArbor.com.

So on this Newsday-Tuesday I thought I'd look at what is happening to newspapers across the country. It seems that the internet and the recession are becoming a one-two punch for the newspaper industry and local papers are dropping like flies. Now, personally I never really read the newspaper, but I do read news on the internet. I don't know if online journalism can attract the same amount of revenue and thus the same amount of talent.

This concerns me because I think journalism plays an important function in a democratic society. Without it corruption can take root and spread without anyone taking note. (Not that this doesn't happen with a healthy media, but it at least reduces it somewhat.) I hope something will be able to fill this void, but I fear that nothing will and an important check on corporate and government behavior will be lost.

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