The Marketplace Reader

Bad days for newspapers, democracy

Richard Core Jul 23, 2008

It’s almost not news anymore that newspapers’ revenues are plummeting, they’re cutting staffs of talented journalists, and the news — locally, nationally and internationally — just isn’t getting covered as well as it had been during journalism’s last several decades. But Christopher Hedges has a very thoughtful and detailed opinion piece on the dangers of this trend, posted on the TruthDig website.

The decline of newspapers is not about the replacement of the antiquated technology of news print with the lightning speed of the Internet. It does not signal an inevitable and salutary change. It is not a form of progress. The decline of newspapers is about the rise of the corporate state, the loss of civic and public responsibility on the part of much of our entrepreneurial class and the intellectual poverty of our post-literate world, a world where information is conveyed primarily through rapidly moving images rather than print.

As someone who grew up reading and delivering newspapers, writing columns and stories and editing his middle school, high school and college papers and spending most of his career working for newspapers before, yes, moving to the Internet, I think Hedges makes some very good arguments.

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