The continuing decline of the newspaper industry made headlines again over the weekend when Warren Buffet said that he wouldn't buy newspaper stocks at any price. The topic continues a national and local discussion about the future of the daily rag.
There has been discussion about the newspaper industry's eventual shift to a pay by the drip model like iTunes or a government subsidized model like PBS-TV. I'm not sure what the eventual answer is, but I did enjoy this thought provoking, lengthy blog article a few weeks ago:
"Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism. For a century, the imperatives to strengthen journalism and to strengthen newspapers have been so tightly wound as to be indistinguishable. That’s been a fine accident to have, but when that accident stops, as it is stopping before our eyes, we’re going to need lots of other ways to strengthen journalism instead.The article is correct. We need quality writers and quality reporting. We don't need the physical paper. And bloggers like me are most certainly not going to fill that gap when the AJC has no one left to layoff.
When we shift our attention from ’save newspapers’ to ’save society’, the imperative changes from ‘preserve the current institutions’ to ‘do whatever works.’ And what works today isn’t the same as what used to work."