Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Wither the American newspaper - a primer

So much has been written on the state of the American newspaper. So much bile has been spewed and so many hands have been wrung.

So why am I pointing you to another post about it? Because you need read practically no other thing than this blog post by Rod Dreher on BeliefNet, "Why Mainstream Journalism is in Pain."

Actually, it's not so much the post by Dreher (also of the Dallas Morning News) that I want you to read, although it is a fine, if not overly distinguished, recap of the topic at hand.

No, I want you to read the comments -- all of them (95-plus at this point). Reasoned. Solid. Thoughtful. Insightful. Compared with the way these things normally play out, hardly a troll or a flamer among them. Just real people telling you why they consume news but, for the most part, just don't take the paper anymore. The biggest reasons: It's paper, it's a mess, it takes a lot of work to read and to recycle. Content is weak. And, of course, there are the claims of liberal or conservative bias, although to get hung up on those would be missing the larger point.

Some also agonize, as does Dreher, over what we would do without papers; others have a pretty clear vision of a future without them.

Vox populi -- read it and listen closely

(Thanks to Gary Karr for the outpoint)

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