There Are Plenty Of Ways For Gov't Watchdogs To Do Their Jobs Without Newspapers

from the life-goes-on dept

Following a series of stories from ex-journalists insisting that the death of newspapers would lead to an age of corruption and the downfall of democracy, Yochai Benkler has written up an article explaining just how ridiculous all this sounds. He points out -- as have many others -- that just because newspapers go away, it doesn't mean that journalism goes away -- and then points out a bunch of different models of non-newspaper watchdog/anti-corruption publications that work quite well today. And, should newspapers actually go away, many additional options would likely show up, as well. The idea that people suddenly stop watching the government just because a newspaper is not around makes little sense. For a bunch of "journalists" to make such a claim, when there's ample evidence that alternative models do work, suggests that they're not doing a very good job reporting on those alternative models.
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Filed Under: corruption, democracy, journalism, newspapers, yochai benkler


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  • icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 5 Mar 2009 @ 5:43pm

    The Devil You Say!

    Without the WaPo, how are we going to get access to, say, CRS research?

    No sir, it's old school beat reporting that's going to break *that* news, lemme tell you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    or wrappin your fish n chips, 5 Mar 2009 @ 6:55pm

    Suitable for lining your hampster cage

    "the death of newspapers would lead to an age of corruption and the downfall of democracy, "

    Well, that's strange ... newspapers are very much alive today and have been for many decades, and yet there continues to be wide spread corruption throughout government, business and society in general. Just what is it that newspapers will prevent ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2009 @ 7:38pm

    I consider myself pretty well informed and I haven't read a newspaper since around 2000. Too inconvenient and costly compared to the alternatives.

    Once "good" journalists move to non-paper based media, there is nothing more to debate, right?
    I'm glad you agree.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rodney Gagnon, 6 Mar 2009 @ 4:25am

    Journalist as Entrepreneur

    It's high time that journalists think of themselves as entrepreneurs and start behaving as such. Write about your passion, build your brand and promote, promote, promote. I'll read you. Promise!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TFP, 7 Mar 2009 @ 2:24am

    Yea, right

    Here in the UK the downfall of democracy is running full speed ahead and we still have newspapers (and the BBC), not reporting (except for the Guardian) it.

    Most camera spying on the public: check
    biometric ID cards for all citizens wanted: check
    ISPs to watch all 'net related activity: check
    Internet censorship: check
    Anti terrorist laws passed and used to ascertain where children really live for school placement: check
    database of all children for viewing by any official body: check
    Massive bailout of bank created financial crisis: check
    unanswerable governmental petty cash (£1000s per year per member of parliament) payouts hidden from unwashed masses: check
    Torture of terrorist suspects known about and ignored: check

    Nope, no problems with the death of democracy in this newspaper filled country.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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