This Sounds Familiar: The Death Of Newspapers... 91 Years Ago

from the heard-that-one-before dept

We've been reading all these "obituaries" for newspapers, with people whining and complaining about what a huge loss it is and how democracy will suffer. To many of us, we've been hearing these complaints for quite some time... but perhaps we didn't realize that they go way back to at least 91 years ago. Romenesko points us to a story in Slate discussing an article from 1918 lamenting how many newspapers were dying off, and how it would be that much more difficult to keep politicians in check with fewer newspapers watching their every move. And... that was back in the days of yellow journalism and corrupt politicians who had an even chummier relationship with certain publishers than they do today. All in all, the point should be clear: just because some newspapers go out of business, it doesn't mean the end of journalism. It never has.
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Filed Under: history, newspapers, trouble


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  • identicon
    ender, 16 Apr 2009 @ 7:18pm

    so i think you're dead wrong on that one. look at the number of crooked politicians and lobbyists. and then ask the average tv-watching american anything about the political process.

    you'll get a blank stare. when newspapers were around and doing their jobs, they were able to penetrate localities and let people know what was happening not just in their neighborhood, but state and nation. not just who the mayor of new york and the president are.

    real journalism is already dead.

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

  • icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 16 Apr 2009 @ 7:24pm

    Yup

    And... that was back in the days of yellow journalism and corrupt politicians who had an even chummier relationship with certain publishers than they do today.

    Yeah, because that doesn't happen these days. That's why we get such stellar reporting out of the dinosaurs who are bitching about their importance.

    Nighty-night y'all. Hope you got enough money to make your eternal slumber worth-while. (Failing that, you could always apply for a bailout. Assuming your political chits are still worth anything.)

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

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 16 Apr 2009 @ 7:32pm

      Re: Yup

      Yeah, because that doesn't happen these days. That's why we get such stellar reporting out of the dinosaurs who are bitching about their importance.

      Didn't say it doesn't happen today, but it was absolutely much more extreme in those days.

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

  • identicon
    Jon, 16 Apr 2009 @ 7:35pm

    Newspaper dead?

    Please. The newspaper industry is not dead. The newspaper industry will never be dead. As long as there is news to report someone will make money reporting it. I would happily purchase a subscription to a newspaper if it would cover more local news rather than national news, which I can get elsewhere far easier.
    As for asking the average American about the political process, I think people are becoming more informed about political issues now more than ever. Everyone has an opinion and thanks to technology it has become much easier to express.

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

  • identicon
    IanK, 16 Apr 2009 @ 10:13pm

    So are we talking about the death of newspapers, or the death of reporting news? I think people are getting mixed up here.

    I think newspapers will die off fairly soon. That doesn't mean I believe news won't be reported though. Of course it'll be reported.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Apr 2009 @ 5:45am

    Sounds kind of like GM. How long has that been dying? I thought it had a chance but nooooo, Obama just had to step in. Gonna be the same with newspapers, and you know why? Cause there will always be rich billionaires that want to have a platform to get their opinions out.

    Never underestimate the power of ego.

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


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