by Doug Bandow March 13, 2019
Anyone alive before the internet – a time difficult to grasp by anyone in school today – remembers getting information by reading newspapers. In today’s parlance, they are the “dead tree” edition of a publication usually viewed online. The Sunday editions of newspapers then were particularly wondrous: multiple sections, thick want ads, extended essays, big comics in color. The added weight was a particular challenge for kids (it was almost always kids, then) who delivered papers in darkness, rain, and snow.
In that ancient world, papers were filled with news. There were stories, lots of them, the writing of which was overseen by editors. Accuracy was a virtue. Top reporters at major publications were influential enough to bring down the titans of business, culture, and politics. Even then the media was liberal, to be sure, but the Fourth Estate also helped hold the powerful accountable.
That world has disappeared. Newspaper circulation has collapsed. Papers have folded, merged, diminished, and otherwise compromised on missions and resources. Published magazines have followed their lead. Online sources have diversified and expanded the voices available, but net surfers resist paying, even for what purports to be serious journalism. For many publications an online presence only complicated the financial challenge, which leaves even the most widely read and oldest publications searching for a sustainable economic model...........Journalism is in trouble. However, government subsidies are not the answer. .............To Read More....