Thursday, 2 July 2009

The death of newspapers

has no doubt been predicted as long as newspapers have existed. I am certain their death has been predicted as long as radio, television and, now, the internet have existed. Oh, I forgot, add mobile 'phones and something called Twitter. I have yet to investigate Twitter. There is also the death of books issue - but that is something else.
Newspapers have declined. Their circulation has dropped. In terms of trees, newsprint, ink and the overall carbon imprint this may well be a good thing. In information terms it may or may not be. Newspapers have simply failed to adapt according to John Hartigan of News Ltd.
I have news for Mr Hartigan. The standard of journalism has to be maintained, indeed increased, if newspapers are to survive.
Editors and journalists appear to believe that newspapers can survive on sensationalism, trivial events, gossip, misinformation and unnecessary intrusion into the private lives of those who suffer serious misfortune. I object. Serious matters will be trivialised or given the peculiar bias of the reporter responsible. Again, I object. Political interference is perhaps one of the most serious offences of all, especially where it is designed to undermine democracy. We should all object however much we might like it when the interference is favourable to 'our' side of politics.
Newspapers are still powerful forces for change. Journalists are some of the most powerful people on earth. Editors are even more so. These people decide our daily news drug and the dosage they will deliver.
I am told that 'blogging' is dangerous. It is subversive. It trivialises journalism. I always wanted to be an anarchist.

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