I’m kind of ambivalent about his point. Unlike a lot of bloggers, the first paper I read in the morning is the New York Times, followed by the Washington Post, and then the National Journal’s Hotline (which as a political junkie, is my bread and butter). It is only after reading those traditional news sources, that I start looking at blogs and other new sources of information.
“People may be getting their news from various sources today: radio, television, online. But most of the original reporting–even that which ends up on radio, TV and the Internet–is done by daily newspapers. Daily newspapers also do nearly all of the investigative reporting that monitors how government spends its citizens’ money and watch over how the government works to protect its citizens’ interests.”
I have to wonder about print elitism (the reverse of print envy), and it brings me back to the point that I made in response to Davis Enterprise Columnist Richard Harris a couple of months ago–is the daily newspaper really on the cutting edge anymore? Many of the biggest political stories of 2006 came not from daily newspapers, but from bloggers and other independent sources that then filtered up to the mainstream press.
The control of the US Senate came down to a couple of Senate races that hinged on blogger and youtube reporting. Webb does not win in
And maybe this is part of the point that vonKaenel is trying to make by looking at the impact of corporate ownership.
But I think it is something much bigger and it goes the heart of the problem that we have in
The Davis Enterprise, their editor Debbie Davis, and their staff are the gatekeepers of information that affects the people of
This blog has broken what a number of people who I have spoken to believe to be, major stories. Are they being reported? Not really. If the Davis Enterprise does not consider it news, it does not get reported. And that’s the problem that we are seeking to breakdown.
The other factor is that daily newspapers are passive. Now they are learning to adapt. The major papers now have blogs to give their readers more interaction. People do not want to passive absorbers of information, they want to react it to and participate.
This is a new technology, but as more and more people start participating through blogging, they will become more comfortable with the process.
So while I disagree with vonKaenel, I also sympathize with his vision and his beliefs.
But at the end of the day, I just think he’s wrong when he says:
“The cost is more than the thousands of jobs lost in the newspaper business in just a couple of years. It’s more than the future value shareholders will never receive. It’s the price we’ll all pay for losing the institution that represents a major foundation of a working democracy that really scares me.”
Democracy will survive without the daily paper. News sources will evolve and adapt. The news business will adjust. And I think we’ll be better for it, because no longer will corporations and editors and people with the resources to print have a monopoly on the gatekeeping of information.
That’s a strength for democracy, not a weakness.
—Doug Paul Davis reporting