Sunday, August 05, 2007

Goodbye to Newspapers? - The New York Review of Books

A timely reality check from The New York Review of Books -- see the full article for a review of two recent, related books and perspectives on Internet news (of which, according to an estimate in one of the reviewed books, ~80% originates in newspapers) and blogs. 

The American press has the blues. Too many authorities have assured it that its days are numbered, too many good newspapers are in ruins. It has lost too much public respect. Courts that once treated it like a sleeping tiger now taunt it with insolent subpoenas and put in jail reporters who refuse to play ball with prosecutors. It is abused relentlessly on talk radio and in Internet blogs. It is easily bullied into acquiescing in the designs of a presidential propaganda machine determined to dominate the news.

Its advertising and circulation are being drained away by the Internet, and its owners seem stricken by a failure of the entrepreneurial imagination needed to prosper in the electronic age. Surveys showing that more and more young people get their news from television and computers breed a melancholy sense that the press is yesteryear's thing, a horse-drawn buggy on an eight-lane interstate.

Weirdly, I subscribe to the dead-tree edition of the NYRB, but I'd missed this article until I ran across a reference in Greg Lloyd's blog

Goodbye to Newspapers? - The New York Review of Books

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