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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Time to say goodnight?

Steve Wasserman, Truthdig.org, November 28:

"Why continue to read newspapers? After all, newspapers are losing circulation at precipitous rates, giving rise to fears that they may not survive long enough to write their own obituaries. Cutbacks, buyouts and layoffs are widespread, affecting many of America’s most prestigious newspapers, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times, where it was recently announced that the paper faced an 8% reduction in its editorial staff. Morale plummets, anxiety mounts.

"The growing maturity of the Internet and the explosion of the blogosphere suggest that newspapers’ demise is inexorable. A perfect storm of technological advances appears to make newspapers fit for the study less of schools of journalism than departments of anthropology. The virtual world is incontestably more nimble and democratic. It permits a chorus of diverse voices that newspapers can’t hope to replicate, if only for reasons of space. Why remain loyal to a medium that every day seems increasingly anachronistic?"

5 Comments:

Blogger kei & yuri said...

Watch out for the next lie hatcheries; after all, what's really wrong with newspapers isn't that they're quaint, but that they're malicious apologists and aggressive propagandists for Money and Power.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 12:25:00 pm  
Blogger Glenn Condell said...

Watch out for the next lie hatcheries indeed... once it's crystal clear to Money and Power that blogs are where influence will thrive or die, they will endeavour to drown us in cyberbullshit... hundreds of fake establishment cheerlead blogs, or talking point blogs whose authors are happy to take the taxpayer's dime via backhand payments. Armies of onside commenters like the trolls Ant is blessed with here.

Re newspapers' demise, this from Atrios:

'It isn't blogs that destroyed the Gatekeepers. It wasn't blogs that put Rush Limbaugh on as an election analyst. It wasn't blogs that gave Bill O'Reilly the flagship show on a major cable news network. It wasn't blogs that gave Michael Savage his own television show on a cable news network. It wasn't blogs that put Ann Coulter on the cover of a major national news magazine. It wasn't blogs that created all of the various and often fact free screaming heads shows. It wasn't blogs that gave syndicated columns to numerous conservatives with little or no experience in journalism. It wasn't blogs that devoted the summer of 2001 to Gary Condit (uh, ok, well, maybe Josh helped a bit) and the summer of 2005 to a missing girl in Aruba. It wasn't blogs that invented the New York Post or Washington Times. And, it wasn't blogs that were responsible for all of the errors that this wonderful organization tracks on a regular basis.

Gatekeeper media may be dead, but to a great degree they dug their own grave and dove right in. Blogs didn't really get there until after the funeral.'

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 1:43:00 pm  
Blogger Pete's Blog said...

I agree glenn

As advertisers increasingly shift their loot from papers to blogs greed will corrupt many a blogmeister.

The Murdoch's are too shrewd to let a new medium usurp their power or profits.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 3:09:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Sadly, this is already happening and many a blogger are also affiliated with corporates, or their agenda, or their bank balance.
As with any 'new' medium, some will sink, some will last. And many, if not most, will be corrupted by the corporate dollar.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 3:11:00 pm  
Blogger Bernard said...

I'm sceptical of these journalists who lament the 'decline' of journalism. It seems to me they misunderstand the purpose of corporate newspapers and overinflate the importance of their own role, not the mention the objectivity or utility of their writings.

If you relied upon a corporate newspaper like the LAT, the SMH or the NYT for 'news' you'd be fundamentally misled and wouldn't have any idea what is going on in the world.

A newspaper is essentially a piece of junkmail - the advertising is the content and purpose of it. The role of the journalist is the same as that of the photographer, layout guy or designer - catch the eye for a moment to try and stop the thing from going straight into the recycling bin.

As far as I'm concerned the corporate media cannot die fast enough, and should be boycotted while its still alive. Yes, the internet and blogs contain vast amounts of rubbish but the great, revolutionary advantage they have is that they are free to create, decentralised and independent. You can search for and read any amount of quality stuff, as we've all been doing since our minds first boggled at the concept of hyperlinks leading to a virtual infinitude of free material on the 'web'.

Thursday, December 01, 2005 10:46:00 am  

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