The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
Letter to Edward Carrington
January 16, 1787
What I didn't say, being discreet before my eager and innocent audiences, was that there will always be journalists because there will always be jerks out there who must be irritated as part of nature's plan. Moreover, all humanity will be reduced if rumpled, soup-stained persons armed with adjectives aren't running the ridges in pursuit of facts to wake up the public in this age of amnesia.
Deseret Morning News
Newspapers may fold, but the profession won't die
April 30, 2007
A year and a half ago we published this Robyn Blumner article: "A chilling vision of a world without newspapers". Ms. Blumner's article did not paint a rosy picture for the traditional print media, in our "modern" age of lagging hard-copy subscriptions, bean counter-driven content, and general broadcast/cable media shallowness.
This morning's Reg Henry Deseret News Op-Ed piece (via the Pittsburg Post-Gazette) is decidedly more optimistic, from the viewpoint of the journalistic profession, at least.
The worry I shared ..., as one who loves newspapers and whose father was a war correspondent with Gen. Douglas MacArthur, is that the economics of the newspaper industry no longer work. Just this week brought news that the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times are reducing their staffs.Your ever-humble blogmeister of course does not consider himself to be a "member of the jerk community and assorted bloggers (who) cheer for the death of newspapers." As a matter of fact, we admit we are highly dependant upon our local newspapers' usually competent news reporting and editorial opinions for our ongoing blog discussions. Moreover, we number ourself among the ancient and dwindling demographic for whom wandering out onto the front porch (or thereabouts) to retrieve our Standard-Examiner hard-copy edition in the pre-dawn hours is an important daily ritual.
Across the nation, newspapers are becoming leaner. But as this process unfolds, they are converting their brand names into reliable and professional information centers on the Internet highway. This is the hope, anyway.
And to our younger readers we say this: Why not spring for a subscription to your local newspaper? A Std-Ex daily subscription is only eleven-and-a-half bucks. Internet-addicted readers of course receive free access to the excellent "Digital Edition" Std-Ex version, along with their home-delivered print edition. Frankly, we can't think of a greater bargain.
Have at it, gentle readers. Who else wants to help our beloved home-town newspaper "convert its brand name into a reliable, professional" (and profitable) "information center on the Internet highway"... at the very least?
And NO! Don Porter did not put us up to this.
Update 5/1/07 8:02 a.m. MT: Don't miss yesterday's timely and on-topic SLTrib op-ed piece by Greg Palast, (via the LA Times): U.S. media haven't the will to dig deep.
Update 5/5/07 10:38 a.m. MT: The Std-Ex toots its own horn this morning with this story, which also clarifies the strategy re its excellent Digital Edition paid site.