So I recently attended an event at the New America Foundation called “Who Pays for the News?” which as you can imagine, paid a great deal of attention to the newspaper industry. A put up a post on FH’s Public Affairs blog on it. Please go check it out in full. Here’s an excerpt:
While panelists and other observers have enumerated a number of reasonable causes of the newspaper industry’s woes – ad revenues lost to the internet, poor quality of reporting, the debt burden of news conglomerates – these problems fail to grasp the broader context by incorrectly conflating symptoms and disease. This mistaken reasoning was best characterized by Sen. Cardin, who offered an elegiac declaration that the business model of a traditional newspaper is “dead,” a fact Sen. Cardin believes to imperil democracy as we know it. Although the temptation for drama can be hard to resist, this particular diagnosis suffers from the incorrect assumption that traditional outlets are inextricably tied to the news they report. To be fair to Sen. Cardin, newspapers have themselves enthusiastically embraced this assumption, helping foment a process wherein media companies have wandered haphazardly into a parallel, but nonetheless entirely distinct industry. The question then, pace Sen. Cardin, isn’t whether the print business model is “dead” in the digital age, but rather why it was ever presumed to work.
Interesting stuff! Check it out!