Why we Need Newspapers

I read some really dumb stuff in the newspapers today.  More than anything I’m bothered by the Wall Street Journal’s slouch towards the New York Post.  The WSJ’s big headline today is that Jesse Jackson might be a part of the Illinois political scandal.  It’s the entire above the fold article space.  Come on, how exactly how does this affect the corporate sector?  It doesn’t.  But Murdoch wanted a prize brand to influence American politics.  The downside is that we are losing one of the great private sector institutions in America and the newspaper that discovered the Enron crisis.  We need the vigilant WSJ. Meanwhile, they are taking their dwinding journalism resources and covering Illinois to combat the NYT liberal bias.  Yeah, that’s a good differentiation strategy Rupert.

So unfortunately, we turn to the paper that really typically covers poltical scandals for a superb distillation of the country’s economic crisis.  Check out Steve Pearlstein’s colunm in the Washington Post.  You may have to register.  It’s worth it.  He makes a great case for why Sam Zell, Robert Rubin, and other business leaders are hiding behind Perfect Storm excuses.  Without the Post and other papers, we will have fewer and fewer paid journalists who have time to write such thoughtful columns.  I tried to get at similar arguments in some of my blog posts, but most bloggers do not have the time to be as thoughtful.  While there are an increasing number of professional bloggers, newspapers play a vital role in our society and that’s why they have to figure out how to survive.

Thanks Steve Pearlstein and thanks to my mother, Carla Cohen, for turning me onto the piece.  I read a lot of newspapers, but typically I’m only on the Post site for Redskins news.

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