Newspapers, Yes, They're Still Dying

To: Ash
From: Crecente
Re: Japanese Baby Clothes Don't Cause Choking Hazards. Apparently.


I was talking to some friends in the newspaper business today about the future of print media. What a depressing topic. What bothers me most about the seemingly inevitable death of print is how blase everyone seems to be about it.

What I think people don't get is that newspapers and magazines are where news is born. Sure websites, like Kotaku, do their fair share of reporting, but very few sites are 100 percent original. And even the ones that do only run original articles, those articles are often inspired by or backed up with newspaper or magazine stories.

To me newspapers are like a utility. They're like electricity or telephone service. So when I hear that a major daily paper is going to deliver only three days a week a chill runs down my spine.

It reminds me of a conversation I had with someone earlier this month about the Rocky. When I told them that the paper was going to likely go under they said "Who cares, I don't read it."

The thing is that whether she knows it or not she benefits from the paper's existence. Many local television and radio news programs lean heavily on news reported in newspapers. The Associated Press gets a bulk of its stories from member papers.

Without a paper all of that is going to dry up. And the people who step into that vacuum, I fear, won't be as interested in covering the mundane but necessary, like school board and city council meetings. They won't call the police station every single day to see what's going on or double check police-involved shootings. They wont' question government. And that, that is a pretty scary thought.


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Jesse in Japan

As a history major who spent hour after hour looking through microfilm of old newspapers, I'm very worried about this trend. Without a permanent, immutable record, what are future historians supposed to do? The problem with Internet reporting is that the records can be altered or deleted long after the event.