Democracy Can't Exist Without Newspapers?
from the banging-my-head dept
I really want to stop writing stories about clueless newspaper folks making braindead statements about the industry, but it just never stops. The latest is that the former editor of the Scotsman, in Edinburgh (where I’m heading next week), is claiming that democracy can’t exist without newspapers. He’s upset that the Scotsman has gone downhill apparently — and that may be the case, but that has little to do with whether or not democracy can or can’t exist without a newspaper. The mistake, again (and we keep hearing this) is this weird assumption that without newspapers, it means all news reporting goes away. But that’s simply not true.
In fact, we’re seeing new reporting startups pop up pretty much every day. The Columbia Journalism Review has a great feature piece written by a long-time foreign correspondent for a variety of newspapers who has built a brand new reporting service that is providing news both on its own site and to a number of other news sources (including some of the newspapers who used to employ him). The fact that newspapers might go away hardly means that journalism goes away — and it certainly doesn’t mean that watchdog efforts go away.