More news…about News

You know the phrase “No news is good news”? Well, in the context of the current state of news, that might be true.

Alas, here is some more news from salon.com:

Journalism as we know it is in crisis. Daily newspapers are going out of business at an unprecedented rate, and the survivors are slashing their budgets. Thousands of reporters and editors have lost their jobs. No print publication is immune, including the mighty New York Times. As analyst Allan Mutter noted, 2008 was the worst year in history for newspaper publishers, with shares dropping a stunning 83 percent on average. Newspapers lost $64.5 billion in market value in 12 months.

All traditional media is in trouble, from magazines to network TV. But newspapers are the most threatened. For readers of a certain age, newspapers stand for a vanishing era, and the pleasures of holding newsprint in their hands is one that they are loath to give up. As a former newspaperman myself, like most of the original founders of Salon, I have a strong attachment to my dose of daily ink. I get most of my news online, but I still subscribe to both the local paper, in my case the San Francisco Chronicle, and to the New York Times. At parties and in casual conversations, speculation that newspapers might vanish like the dinosaurs that once ruled the earth spurs passionate jeremiads about the decline and fall of Western civilization.

But the real problem isn’t that newspapers may be doomed. I would be severely disheartened if I was forced to abandon my morning ritual of sitting on my deck with a coffee and the papers, but I would no doubt get used to burning out my retinas over the screen an hour earlier than usual. As Nation columnist Eric Alterman recently argued, the real problem isn’t the impending death of newspapers, but the impending death of news — at least news as we know it.

To read the rest of the article, go here.

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