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Whenever we debate the future of newspapers, inevitably someone asks, "if they go out of business, where will blogs get their stories?" That's a companion argument to "who will conduct investigative journalism"? Well, just as a wide range of journalistic enterprises are conducting investigative reporting (including online news outlets, television stations, and advocacy groups), so too will we get our news from a variety of different sources. In fact, we already do.

Out of curiosity, I decided to see where the news we discuss on this site came from the past week, from Monday, April 6, to Sunday, April 12. If we linked to a source that got its information from another site, we followed the links until we got to the original source of the reporting ("secondary" source). In other words, I wanted to categorize the original source of information for every (front page) post on the site. Here's the results of that link inventory:

Newspapers: 102 primary, 21 secondary
Blogs: 83 primary, 19 secondary
Advocacy organizations: 77 primary, 9 secondary
Television network: 69 primary, 14 secondary
Online news organizations: 54 primary, 5 secondary
Magazines and journals: 36 primary
Political trade press: 28 primary
Research/polling: 20 primary
Wikipedia: 21 primary, 8 secondary
Educational (.edu): 15 primary
Government: 14 primary, 5 secondary
Campaigns: 13 primary
Books: 6 primary
AP and other Wire: 5 secondary
Radio: 4 primary

"Online news organizations" include web-centric publications conducting original journalism, like HuffPo, and TPM. "Political trade press" are the DC-centric political newspapers: CQ, The Hill, Roll Call, and Politico.

While newspapers were the most common source of information, they accounted for just 123 out of 628 total original information sources, or just shy of 20 percent. And a huge chunk of that, up to half, came from links in the Abbreviated Pundit Roundup, which is specifically designed to track what some of the nation's top pundits are yammering about. In the unlikely and tragic event that every single newspaper went out of business today, we'd have little problem replacing them as a source of information. Even most of the pundits we're following would stick around somewhere or other. It's not as if Paul Krugman's fate is intertwined in any way with the NY Times'.

Again, this doesn't mean I'm gleefull or happy or even neutral on the sorry state of the newspaper industry and the demise of so many great newspapers. It's always sad to lose a good source of journalism. But we live in a rich media environment, easily the richest in world history, and the demise of the newspaper industry will simply shift much of the journalistic work they did to other media.

On the other hand, I will be gleeful when the AP goes out of business. I'm actually shocked at how little we depend on those jerks.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:08 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  the thing about newspapers is... (27+ / 0-)

    they have reporters that go to the city council meetings, the school board meetings, the planning commission meetings, the high school sports events, the church easter egg hunt.  That is what we will be losing out on, that local coverage that doesn't come from alternative media.  It is that mundane stuff that affects people's lives more than ever changing cable news and blog chatter.

    •  Yeah, but on the other hand... (9+ / 0-)

      Only the blogosphere has the resources to go through a huge Friday afternoon document dump of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, of pages.  Newspapers can't do that in a weekend.

      Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

      by Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:12:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  true, but no one is worried... (5+ / 0-)

        about the death of the blogosphere.  I'm bringing up another angle beside the "if newspapers go we'll lose the investigative journalism" angle.  The other sources Kos lists can fill in some gaps, but that local coverage is one that is reserved for local papers.

        •  Theoretically. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tmo, sapper, gooners, thethinveil

          But a lot of local papers do a really shitty job of covering local stuff.  And even then, local blogs can often do a better job.

          Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

          by Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:20:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it depends on where you are... (6+ / 0-)

            small towns aren't going to have anyone go to these meetings just to write about them on a blog.  Blogs cover the big, exciting stuff.  

            •  I'm going to have to disagree again. (5+ / 0-)

              My local blog, for example, is all about the seemingly mundane local stuff.  Board meetings and the mayor's latest policy proposal and all that good local stuff.

              Really, there's nothing a local newspaper can do that a local blog can't do.  The only difference is that the local bloggers usually do it for free.

              Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

              by Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:23:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  where do you live? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kurt

                in a major metro?  Local blogs can cover anything, but I don't believe that they will.  

                •  No, in Tacoma. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  sapper, gooners, Dbug

                  Which is a pretty small city (about 200,000).  We do have a local paper, which I occasionally read.  We also have a weekly, and then there's a great weekly in Seattle (which I enjoy a lot more than our local daily).  We also have some good local blogs.  It's a mix.

                  I realize that not every area, especially smaller areas, offers a quality local blog.  Yet.  But don't you think that's just a matter of time?  

                  Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

                  by Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:38:12 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Maybe, but I personally would rather... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    cityduck, kurt

                    the local papers survive, or find a way to co-exist.  I don't mean to say that all newspapers do a great job at covering local issues, my point is more that they can fill that niche and could do a much better job at it.  Maybe they should concentrate on local issues, it might save them.

                    •  Local blogs can replace citywide newspapers (0+ / 0-)

                      I live in Seattle and the local NPR station, KUOW, did a great roundtable discussion about the death of newspapers.  One of the panelists said there are a bunch of local websites that are centered in neighborhoods (West Seattle, Capitol Hill, Ravenna, etc.).  So you'll read about someone who was mugged on the corner of Broadway and John.  Someone else went to a city council meeting.  Someone else writes a review of the new pizza restaurant where the Burger King used to be.  Someone raves about getting acupuncture at a local shop.  Someone else planted a garden and talks about which plants thrive in the local climate.  Someone is angry because the school board is closing down a school.

                      So that's one thing that can happen if newspapers die.  By the way, the Seattle P-I discontinued their paper edition (leaving us with the Seattle Times), but then the P-I started a web-only newspaper.  And some ex-employees of the P-I started a different online newspaper.  Plus, we have two weekly newspapers (The Stranger and The Seattle Weekly).  One of them is owned by the Village Voice and the other one isn't.  Both of them send reporters to the city council meetings.

                      Plus, I read various magazines, and I check Daily Kos and the NY Times and Huffpost on the internet almost every day.  Maybe once a week I'll look at the online Salon, Slate, The Onion, The New Yorker, Harpers, The Atlantic.  Heck, sometimes I'll even see what's on Drudge or Rush Limbaugh's execrable website.

                      I don't feel like I have a shortage of news in Seattle (as long as I pay my cable company to give me high-speed cable access).

                      There are only two kinds of people in the world: People who think there are two kinds of people and people who don't.

                      by Dbug on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:33:19 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Journalist (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        kurt

                        almost all newspapers, wire services, television news, and radio news operations hire only college graduates and expect prior experience in journalism, either at a student publication or through an internship.

                        Does training and experience count for anything?

                        Free University and Health Care for all, now. -8.88, -7.13

                        by SoCalHobbit on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 10:32:18 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  Your "pretty small city" (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    tmo, LABobsterofAnaheim, kurt

                    is bigger than the largest city in South Carolina. I care less about the fate of newspapers, but for right now in our area, where computers are rare, let alone bloggers, newspapers still serve a vital purpose.

                    These weeklies and small down (30,000 and under) dailies are vital, and yet they are failing. If newspapers go, the dark ages will once again rein supreme in the South.

                    "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

                    by sapper on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:28:53 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  High time (5+ / 0-)

                for these local bloggers to get paid.

          •  Not so, Mouse. (12+ / 0-)

            I've been to a lot such meetings as a reporter, and I was often the only representative of the media there at all.

            The Teabagging Liveblog is today, at noontime Central. Come dip your teabags in our willing mugs.

            by droogie6655321 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:23:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sure that's true. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sapper, droogie6655321, gooners

              But is there any reason a local blogger couldn't cover those meetings?  Especially as newspapers die out?  

              If people want the information, they'll find a way to get it, don't you think?

              Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

              by Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:26:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The main reason why not (13+ / 0-)

                Time and money. People have day jobs. It's one thing to go to the meetings. It's another to read the agendas and build contacts between you and the councilors and other government types.

                It's a huge time investment to do it right. It's a lot more than just an afternoon trip to an hour-long meeting.

                The Teabagging Liveblog is today, at noontime Central. Come dip your teabags in our willing mugs.

                by droogie6655321 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:29:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  A huge void will be left by the demise of the (7+ / 0-)

                  daily paper.  Many aspects of that void will likely ultimately be filled, but not all of them will be.  Plus, it may take several years to fill the voids that are ultimately filled.

                  Duke Cunningham might still be in Congress were it not for the investigative efforts of the SD paper.  I suspect that Nixon would've finished out his 2d term had it not been for "Woodstein's" efforts.  Had there been a blogosphere then, Daniel Ellsberg leaking the Pentagon Papers to DKos would likely not have had nearly the impact that leaking them to the NYT and the WaPo had.

                  A world in which Broder, Tom Friedman, and Brooks have to seek honest work would likely be a good thing.  I like, however, seeing the likes of Herbert, James Carroll, and Gene Robinson having a platform.  I also recognize the fact that Krugman's influence largely stems from his NYT byline.

                  This issue is a very serious one w/ potentially serious consequences.

                  Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

                  by RFK Lives on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:14:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  if someone will pay for it. (6+ / 0-)

                Altruism only carries you so far.

              •  I honestly cannot see people willing to pay a (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kurt

                local blogger to go to a meeting and read about it later. I don't think for one thing that local newspapers are in danger anyway, they serve a niche amrket, where for 75 cents a week you get all your local news. We have two where i live, one costs 75 cents the other is free, surviving on advertising.

                As for local meetings, the ones people care about, like zoning, planning etc. there is always high attendance and representatives from the two papers, and sometimes even someone fropm the local commercial community station, or the two community supported stations, not to mention camera's from the local public access station.

                So do i live in a town of 200,000? no. I live in a county of 25,000, of which about 2,500 live in town.

                We care about our community and our local outlets are in no danger.  It is the huge city dailies that are in danger. The rreason is because people have shown they will not pay for access if the opinion and sapecialyty pages are firewalled, see NYT.

                It is they who are going to need to find a differerent business model. The major blogs are also going to have to find a business model that works too, if they are now relying on advertising to survive.  The pie is getting bigger and the slices smaller.

                It's not that there isn't enough information, there is just too much and we all have zillions of choices of where we get it from.

              •  No reason at all, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kurt

                but the people directly affected by city and county council meetings, and school board meetings, may not have any computers to read the blog posts.

                "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

                by sapper on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:31:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  agree (7+ / 0-)

              they're so boring you have to pay someone to go.

              However, the truth is that the local beat reporter is getting cut.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:29:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Shitty coverage is better than none. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kurt, thethinveil

            When you can show me a blogger sitting in front of a Lee County school board meeting, scribbling away at notes, I'll begin to believe bloggers can be worthwhile.

            Really. When I see certified, experienced bloggers deliver me news about the screwed-up budgets in Lee, Clarendon, Sumter, Fairfield, Jasper, and/or Dillon counties, then I'll rest easier, knowing that if newspapers drop dead, the veil of secrecy won't entirely cloak these little counties' budgets. School boards and town councils too.

            But that point is not approached yet in South Carolina, may not even be near. So we need our crummy newspapers a little while longer.

            "Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never vote for President. One hopes it is the same half." - Gore Vidal

            by sapper on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:25:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  rural coverage (0+ / 0-)

              It's hard to get Internet, let along high-speed Internet, in rural areas of South Carolina (and Pennsylvania). Dial-up satellite is usually the option, and that doesn't work when the trees leaf out or it snows.

        •  Good points... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt

          But in some respect, the biggest loss from the decline of newspapers (and magazines, as they start to go under as well) is not in the writing/editorial but on the reading end.

          I don't know about the rest of you, but I find that my patience for long-form jouralism is much lower on in the Internet than in any form of print -- to get me to read something longer than a 1000 words or so usually takes a super-compelling subject or really good writing (not such a common thing).

          As a writer, I also know it's conventional writing on the web to keep your paragraphs short and punchy. Which words fine for one of Kos's screeds, but when you really want to go into detail on a subject, there's something about reading something on a computer that hastens the arrival of the MEGO factor.

          That's what I think Kos is ignoring when he makes these points.

          Forward to Yesterday -- Reactionary aesthetics and liberal politics (in that order)

          by LABobsterofAnaheim on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:55:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Disagree (5+ / 0-)

        Most of the important stories are broken by reporters, precisely because they get paid to do the mundane tasks of sifting through documents, etc.  The role of the blogs has largely been to serve as an echo chamber and popularize under reported stories.  There is very little original content on the blogs, especially on DailyKos.

        •  It would be interesting to see the breakdown. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt, gooners, zagrobelny

          While I understand that there isn't as much original reporting in the blogosphere, there is also less original reporting in the newspapers as well.  How many newspapers rely heavily on wire stories?  Or, even worse, the prepackaged ads that look like news stories?

          I'll give you an example, though: A few months ago, when Santa Barbara had a terrible fire late at night, the local traditional media pretty much went to sleep.  The best place to get any information about what was happening were the local blogs -- people reporting in from their locations to say what they could see.  Some dude even rode his bike around town taking pictures and then uploading them.  The traditional media was basically worthless.

          It was a great comfort to a lot of us from there, or with family there, who wanted to know if our childhood homes were still standing and if our families were safe.

          Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

          by Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:34:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  in order to make ends meet.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zagrobelny

            local papers have cut to bare bones, to the point where they do nothing well.  Maybe they need to reinvest.

          •  A few years ago, the same -- with CBs. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kurt, thethinveil, zagrobelny

            The local CB radio crowd did the same thing in the small town I lived in when the media coverage lapsed during an overnight train derailment.

            The thing is, all those people had other jobs and went back to them once the crisis was over. Kind of like how FEMA used to be organized.

            Journalism, in order to be good journalism, needs to have people paid to just sit there and wait for the emergency to happen so it can be covered without depending on citizen journalism.

            That's why that "pay per article" nonsense will never work for most people.

            And that's another reason why journalism will probably die: no one wants to pay for someone to do something that can't be quantified by the almighty bottom line.

            PS -- Where does Markos think most of those TV stations got their stories? From reporters on the ground. Often, newspaper reporters covering their beats.

            "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

            by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:50:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I agree. That is why the list was interesting (0+ / 0-)

          because if you analysed the different categories basically everyone is getting the same information from everyone else.
          And mostly that information emanates from the major newspapers, the NYT, WaPo, Boston paper, WSJ, LA Times, Philly etc. They are the ones in danger.

      •  Or Go to Local Meetings (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aeolus, Caneel, bobtmn, kurt

        Actually, "bloggers" are better equipped than newspaper reporters to go to the myriad local meetings at which usually nothing newsworthy ever happens. Because there are more of us, and we go for our own reasons, not usually to get paid for going.

        But that reveals the entire transformation waiting inside this apparent calamity. What we need is not bloggers replacing newspaper reporters at those meetings. We need the people who go to those meetings to blog. Blogging isn't a job, it's something people do, even it it is their job. It's a communications technique. Losing the newspaper reporters in favor of the people in those meetings blogging would be a much better source of news. And once the blogging is ordinarily accompanied by video of the full meeting, that blogging can be compared to the video records for accuracy.

        All of which sounds like a great replacement for reporters with notebooks (or private audio/video recordings). Their "objectivity" was always exaggerated, as well as their omnipresence and observation skills. More blogging by attendees could mean more attendees, just as more political blogging has meant more political activity and engagement.

        Which also sounds like reporters' jobs would be a lot easier. All those blogs and transcripts to read before going to the actual attendees for interviews. Lots more corroboration of the stories they write. Lots more audience for the stories they write, because people who blog are much more likely to consume other stories about what they blogged than are people in the general public.

        The bottom line is that there is a demand for news, especially local news, and it's now a lot cheaper and easier for participants to feed that demand. The resulting problem is a new one, the main new problem in the Info Age: so much source info to sort and vet. Which is where hugely successful corps like Google find their place (notice how Google is in the news aggregation biz). The new reporting will be a lot more like Olbermann's show, which doesn't claim any monopoly on either the original sources or the first premiere of the story itself, but rather more like a "guide through the haystack to the needles".

        Newspapers have lived on borrowed time since they ignored the competition to their classified ads which underwrote their entire business model, while staying married to big stacks of hand-delivered paper during the Internet Age. Unfortunately the catastrophic shrinking of their industry will transform our news consumption rapidly, therefore a lot will be lost in the wastefully hasty changes. But we've already got the infrastructure and the population working away to fill the gap. I just hope we don't keep too many of the faulty artifacts of the old business, like corporate interest conflict and other political self-censorship, as we move on to the next way of doing it.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:54:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great anaylysis, Doc Gonzo (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DocGonzo, kurt

          We need the people who go to those meetings to blog. Blogging isn't a job, it's something people do, even it it is their job. It's a communications technique. Losing the newspaper reporters in favor of the people in those meetings blogging would be a much better source of news. And once the blogging is ordinarily accompanied by video of the full meeting, that blogging can be compared to the video records for accuracy.

          It's interesting that some of these meetings of more obscure agencies never see a reporter, and it shows in their conduct.

          No Real Housewives, but plenty of action at Orange County Progressive Come for the politics. Stay for dessert.

          by Aeolus on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:23:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  MN StarTribune (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DocGonzo, kurt

          My local paper has done an awful job of covering the Coleman Whine Fest.   They endorsed Coleman, and this has slanted every article about the trial.

          I have gotten all my real news about the trial from the-uptake, and commenters on MnPublius.com and of course our own WineRev.   I read the Trib mostly to find out what they are leaving out.

          The Strib has the worst comments section imaginable!  Its as if they are only pretending to support citizen participation.   They do not allow replies to comments, they strip out all blank lines and smash your comment into a continuous stream.  Perfect for short rants and insults, awful for thoughtful discussion.

          You have no way to go back and find your previous comments.   You can't "follow" particular posters, you can't link to a comment.  You can only rate a comment "Like" or "Dislike"

          I used to love the Tribune, but if they go under it is not because the Web is stealing their content.  It is because they are not leveraging the huge advantage they have today into a secure spot in the future info society.   They seem content to milk their current revenue stream while pretending to embrace change.

          Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

          by bobtmn on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:34:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, but the blogosphere is not a (0+ / 0-)

        monolithic entity, it is a disparate group of individual people. To do what you suggest would entail incredible organisation and cooperation. Not something the blogs are renowned for.

        A blog is a person with a voice who wants to use it. Not a corporation.

    •  Not really (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, gooners

      Here in Orange County, with 34 city governments and county government, 22 school districts and scores of special agencies, the local newspapers do an abysmal job of covering government.

      When they do have reporters attending, they're nice young people fresh out of journalism school who have no background to make sense out of what's happening.

      Their investigative journalism is gotcha stories on expense reports or water bills.

      And this is an affluent county of over 3 million people.

      No Real Housewives, but plenty of action at Orange County Progressive Come for the politics. Stay for dessert.

      by Aeolus on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:17:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's too bad... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zagrobelny

        that sounds like a problem with that particular paper.  I work in local government, so of course I don't think the coverage in my local paper is adequate, or even correct.  But it is there, and it isn't coming from any other source.

        •  The OC Register Sucks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooners

          And the LA Times virtually abandoned covering Orange County after an expensive money-losing circulation battle.

          The weeklies are by and large part of one of those two operations, and keep getting worse.

          For many cities, there's much more news actually being generated in blogs and user groups.

          No Real Housewives, but plenty of action at Orange County Progressive Come for the politics. Stay for dessert.

          by Aeolus on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:24:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Less and less, unfortunately. (4+ / 0-)

      When our latest round of cutbacks was announced but not yet enacted, one of our reporters told our managing editor that the petty tyrants of several small towns around here were already rubbing their hands with glee and quite explicitly saying that without our reporters at their meetings they were going to go to town.

      Fight until we win. Then we can begin arguing about the details. - Kwickkick (RIP) 2009

      by RickMassimo on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:17:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  i think there would be more local blogs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooners

      and more local coverage if local newspapers disappeared.

      a lot of them are run like little fiefdoms anyway.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
      President Barack Obama. At last.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:19:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caneel, gooners, Angry Mouse

      Here in the East Bay in CA, there are blogs that send people to cover BART meetings, that track work on potholes, etc.

      Now you might not be able to find ALL municipal meetings in one place, but I predict that as newspapers wind down, you're going to be able to find more and more specialty blogs that cover individual agencies.

      •  you and the others that have replied already... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cityduck, Brooke In Seattle

        are talking about huge metropolitan areas.  What about the small metropolitan areas?  

        •  I still think the slack will be picked up ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Caneel, gooners, Angry Mouse

          by interested local citizens who see a need.

          •  A local blog will never have the impact (6+ / 0-)

            of a banner headline in a local paper.  Newspapers derived their power from the fact that they set the agenda for public discourse through the headlines on their front pages.  People walking down the street would see "Mayor Corrupt" headlines on the newsstand and in the paper boxes, and most homes would get the newspaper.  

            No local blog will ever have that power.  Blogs have to be visited, they are not purveyors of information to passive viewers.

            Ultimately, the demise of local newspapers will mean that the only source of local news for most of the populace will be local tv news (a vast wasteland).  

            •  that's a big part of it... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brooke In Seattle, kurt

              "passive viewers", I was trying to think of a way to express that idea.  Like the newspaper that sits in the break room at work.  Or even the one delivered, you flip through and you never know what you will find.  

            •  Don't know that I like the shaping of discourse (0+ / 0-)

              by the local rag.  It's as vast a wasteland (in some parts) as television.  
              Bibles used to be printed in Latin with only select bits and pieces "released" through the filter of a church figurehead.  The deliverers had an agenda that shaped the discourse.
              There was sturm and drang when change came about, and predictions of doom.
              As a commenter downthread mentions, we have to count on ourselves to verify and check information.  And now we can.  Anyone not interested in doing so doesn't really give a rat's rear about journalism anyway.

      •  David Simon... (7+ / 0-)

        was recently quoted as saying that the death of newspapers will lead to a boon in bureaucratic corruption (a subject I do consider him an expert on).  this makes sense to me.  can we really rely on blogs to expose local-level corruption?  

        •  Can we rely on print for "fair and balanced"? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooners

          Isn't this one of the problems; the disgust with the cozy pandering already standard fair?  
          It's going to be different, but I think alot of journalists do what they do because they can't help it.  They are driven.  Like an artist has to make art.
          The will and the way stuff.

        •  Many local journalists (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          714day, kurt, gooners

          Are not interested at all in challenging the local insiders, but instead are reliable stenographers for the local government, the chamber of commerce members, and especially their advertisers.

          I'm sure that there are places where journalism actually approaches some independent ideal, but it sure doesn't exist much in any place I've ever lived.

          No Real Housewives, but plenty of action at Orange County Progressive Come for the politics. Stay for dessert.

          by Aeolus on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:43:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Blogs are only one part of the equation (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          714day, kurt, gooners

          There are real, true original news reporting outlets online. TPM, Pro Publica, Center for Independent Media. These aren't blogs. They're news outlets. And more of them will be founded, I predict, as newspapers shut down.

          I think there will be a flourishing both vertically and horizontally -- regional generalists and regional specialists.

          People have long realized the value of local coverage, and there will be a need created that will be filled. This is a transition time, particularly difficult. But when it all shakes out, I'm going to predict that many of the best local reporters are still going to be doing news -- online, not in a print newspaper.

          •  Only if they get paid. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Aeolus, Shibboleths, kurt, zagrobelny

            And, sadly, that's not happening so far.

            My parents were both reporters with a respected local paper, the Eugene Register-Guard.  It was not a high paying job.  Fortunately, they've now retired, but they've seen some of their former colleagues, excellent reporters, opt to leave the profession and pursue higher paying jobs AS HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS rather than take the pay cuts that newspaper staff are now VOLUNTEERING to take to try and keep the local papers alive.

            I see a lot of self-congratulation of blogs on this thread, coupled with utopian views of the world, but the reality is that everyone needs to eat.  The demise of institutions which paid reporters to act as full-time investigators of local governments is something we should all be lamenting.  The demise of local papers not only removes a watchdog, but it weakens the power of local community groups who could use local papers to reach their communities and local blogs who could set an agenda that local papers might follow.  

            The true beneficiaries are local tv, which will still reach the passive viewers, not local blogs which require folks to seek them out.

             

    •  You're worried about the Easter Egg hunt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooners

      coverage?

      This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq. -- Shoe-throwing journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi

      by miranda2060 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:34:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  so do local teevee stations.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooners

      I'm more likely to go to the site of one or more local tv stations than go to the site of my local newspaper for things like that. There are problems with their coverage (more of the it bleeds it leads type of thing) but should the Lansing State Journal fold, the only thing that would be missed are the coupons and the source of newsprint for cat box lining purposes.

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:35:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  maybe the key to newspapers' suvival... (5+ / 0-)

        is to do a better job with local government and issues, to invest more in journalists rather than cut to bare bones.  

        •  And this can be done far better (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dougymi, gooners

          With web-based models than with declining print editions.

          No Real Housewives, but plenty of action at Orange County Progressive Come for the politics. Stay for dessert.

          by Aeolus on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:44:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  oh yah... that'd be a good thing! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt, gooners, zagrobelny

          and get rid of the syndicated columnists! That opens up a source of revenue to pay another reporter, it opens up more real estate in the paper for that reporter to publish his/her work and it rids the world of another outlet for cal thomas. thomas and his ilk will still be able to publish their blatherings on the net even charging for them should anyone be interested in reading them (but I wouldn't count on spending that money were I thomas or broder or any of the others) so the idea of free speech would still be there.  With all the opinion journalism available on teevee, on the web and in magazines, why should newspapers invest in that garbage?  It's just not needed.

          A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

          by dougymi on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:46:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Source of revenue? (0+ / 0-)

            How much would cutting the columns save?  I doubt it would be enough to increase staffing. When the alt weeklies cut cartoons as a "cost saving measure", Tom Tomorrow pointed out on his blog that they'd only be saving "tens of dollars" per cartoon.

    •  Actually, this is for Kos. (0+ / 0-)

      Thank you for this posting and for the analysis of news sources. It basically answers a question that I'd posed, that I wasn't sure would be answered. Now that you've done so, however, you've won my undying allegiance.

    •  Yep - Our local "old" media broke the story about (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, zagrobelny

      unethical practices by some city council members in our town of 25,000 (resulting in at least one jail term). There needs to be business model (a way to bring in cash) to support the people who serve keep an eye on things at the local level.

      •  And just what's going on. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt

        You know, obviously corruption and law breaking are great scoops and need to be covered locally.  However, just reporting on "What Happened" is also very important.  Frankly, I am not so optimistic about local newspapers being replaced by bloggers doing the work.  There are already gaps of information, and that will get wider and wider if more newspapers either fail or have their staffs even more deeply cut.

    •  Don't forget ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, zagrobelny

      that these public meetings by public officials result in public records. Of course, this excludes sports.

      Public records will include decisions, but not the give-and-take, which in itself becomes carefully orchestrated the more people/media attend the meetings.

      No doubt, meetings coverage is important. In small towns these meetings are usually held in the evening because the officials themselves have other full-time jobs. Bloggers can cover these if they are motivated. But most often, the real story needs probing ... the background, the stances, the impact of the decisions. This is what reporters should be doing anyway (how this got tagged as "investigative journalism" is beyond me. It's a reporter's job) ... and bloggers, and their readers, most certainly can do this much more meaningful work. It probably will not result in single-package, researched and well-written articles, but the immediacy of a blog can lure readership and commentary for fuller coverage over time. This is not simply citizen journalism; it is community participation.

      I spent my professional life in "newspapering," and my motivation was that old idealism: the citizen's right to know. Well, blogging extends that "right to know" into participating in the decision-making.

      Old that I am, from the early days of Daily Kos and the development of E Pluribus Media, I have been absolutely thrilled by the potential of this new media. The very fact that today's newspapers missed this boat on one of the most thrilling developments for democracy and its "Big Story" tells me that their abilities to sniff out a story are seriously lacking ... and their dwindling audiences know it.

      Gannett, early 1990s, produced videos predicting what newspapers of the future would look like. What they came up with was simply presenting the product online. Not even the big guns saw the potential of interactivity online.

      Well, the early political bloggers, political activists got it. The local blogs will grow and mutate. There is much more creativity and innovation online than "newspapering" has done. I remember "Hildy." He never followed the crowd.

      Bloggers may be derided as kids in pajamas in their mother's basements, but just throw back at the arrogant ones -- it's cubicle-free, the land of creativity.

      Against silence, which is slavery. -- Czeslaw Milosz

      by Caneel on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:16:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yeah, but they don't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      I've worked at several daily newspapers, and while what you describe is the ideal, in many communities the paper stopped covering those events long ago. A phoner covers what happened at the council meeting, coaches or team parents enter stats into an online database, which the paper uses to post its reports. Churches? Only for wild art (i.e. photographs).

      Bloggers are providing more aggressive coverage of these events now.

    •  They do an AWFUL job (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      I laugh when people fall back on this trope about newspapers being needed to cover city council and zoning meetings. Most newspapers stopped providing any meaningful local coverage years ago. In the Bay Area, the only places providing that coverage are blogs.

      You want to see planning commission coverage? Look here and here. Show me a newspaper covering zoning in that kind of detail. (This piece of error-filled dreck is the only coverage the same issue (rezoning downtown of a major city) has gotten in local newspapers.

  •  NY Times'? (0+ / 0-)

    Why the apostrophe after the "s"?

  •  not for profit news > for profit news (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angry Mouse, miranda2060

    Not for profit citizen journalism doesn't hide stories or fabricate them. For profit news is about as Fair and Balanced as a crooked jewelers scale.

    When the traditional media goes down, we will fill the void.

    We've been doing it for free for long enough, back since Upton Sinclair and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. - FDR

    by MinistryOfTruth on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:13:51 AM PDT

    •  Yup. Just look at Democracy Now! (4+ / 0-)

      They depend completely on donations from individuals, but Amy Goodman covers stories that it sometimes takes six months (or longer) to get attention from the traditional media.  And she doesn't have a White House press pass or any kind of special access.  She just looks into the stories no one else is talking about, and tries to get to the bottom of it.

      You know, like a journalist.

      Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

      by Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:16:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How does she make a living? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt

        That is, who pays her to do this?

        I would do that too, if someone were willing to pay me for it.

        Lots of journalists out there would be willing to do this -- if we were paid for it.

        Why do you think journalists should work for free?

        "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

        by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:58:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think journalists should work for free. (0+ / 0-)

          I think we've had this discussion before.  I think journalists do deserve to be paid for what they do, but I also think the current business model of traditional newspapers is hopelessly outdated and failing.  And in order for them to survive at all, they will have to adapt their business model -- or suffer the fate of, for example, the Seattle PI.

          Please, President Obama, remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.

          by Kaili Joy Gray on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:18:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  She does great work (0+ / 0-)

        but she doesn't have the audience a newspaper does, and is hardly tackling the local corruption issues that will be ignored once the local paper dies.

      •  All I can ask you is.. (0+ / 0-)

        ask the average informed (because the uninformed would name nothing) what was the last Democracy Now story Amy Goodman published that changed things and expect a blank stare.  Where as in Michigan you can name Kilpatrick, or the Slug Fund, in Ohio the Blade Coingate story that opened the doors for the Democrats to take back the state, etc.

        Heck, I'm informed and I can only recall Amy Goodman as a periodic guest on Air America/Prog Radio programs.

        "Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut

        by Mister Gloom on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 11:03:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Citizens don't fabricate them? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cardinal, kurt, MinistryOfTruth

      Are you kidding?  I have seen so much slanted and flat-out wrong information from "citizens" who think themselves champion of an issue that it is clear they are willing to fabricate.

      Darwinic pilgrims claim the image fills them with an overwhelming feeling of logic. --The Onion

      by mem from somerville on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:51:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt

        When citizens are wrong, other citizens (especially in the blogosphere) will hold them accountable.

        When the traditional media is wrong we end up looking for WMD's in Iraq, and if we are lucky a retraction/correction shows up on page 23 two weeks later.

        We may be wrong sometimes (or often), but our ability to be corrected makes us greater.

        With a profit-motive there is more incentive to protect the lie and call it "news" and "perspective"

        Of course, this is all just IMHO.

        Cheers, mem

        A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. - FDR

        by MinistryOfTruth on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:44:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder if there will (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adam B, kurt, Angry Mouse, Losty, zagrobelny

    be more philanthropically funded independent investigative journalists in the model of Pro Publica.  If I remember correctly, those folks are paid to do the leg work and writing and offer their finished product for free.  

    I used to love the feel of a newspaper -- but have long since given up the printed page because my local rags suck -- Hartford Courant and I can find everything from the NYTs online without having to recycle 1/2 the paper into seed pots.

    I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction of the Constitution. -- Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:14:26 AM PDT

  •  The Scaife/Murdoch Newspapers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Krush, TomP, RickMassimo

    I for one, hope to see them burn in bankruptcy.

    Thanks for controlling the debate, assholes.  Thanks for the war, recession and deficits.  

    Now reap what you sow.

    •  Scaife and Murdoch would make out fine (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle, kurt

      It's all the poor buggers in the pressroom and in classifieds who would suffer.

      I'm a progressive conservative: no tea-bagging outside of gay marriage!

      by Bobs Telecaster on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:17:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Scaife and Murdoch... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      ...famously deficit finance their money-losing papers. No one on the left does that.

      I think it's telling that in Markos' posting about the distribution of news sources used on this site, that newspapers came out in first place. That sort of dampens the argument he is making.

      Plus, it needs to be considered that this site has a particular niche for news items that is predominately political. There are a lot of other types of stories that need to be reported.

      Finally, the AP is a BRILLIANT idea. It is a not-for-profit service funded by participating news outlets that allows them to pool resources to finance reporting that the member outlets could not fund on their own. Granted, this brilliant idea is being executed dreadfully, but I just had to point out that there is merit to the concept and it would be nice if it could be repaired or done right by another organization.

      I really don't care whether newspapers survive or not. I just want to know that as we transition to whatever is next the new media is prepared to take up the slack. Markos' list of sources suggests that we are making progress but we are not yet sufficiently prepared.

      ~
      ••• CELEBRATE with America's BAraCK Stickers And T-Shirts •••
      ~

      by KingOneEye on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:32:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wire feeds rank about as high on that list as (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority

    "A giant flying psychedelic mushroom named Henry told me."

    I'm a progressive conservative: no tea-bagging outside of gay marriage!

    by Bobs Telecaster on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:15:12 AM PDT

  •  AP does seriously suck. (5+ / 0-)

    In addition, most Washington journalism is too influenced by the right.

    Robert Parry, US News Media Fails America, Again

    By and large, the Washington press corps continues to function within a paradigm set in the 1980s, mostly bending to the American Right, especially to its perceived power to destroy mainstream journalistic careers and to grease the way toward lucrative jobs for those who play ball.

    The parameters set by this intimidated (or bought-off) news media, in turn, influence how far Washington politicians feel they can go on issues, like health-care reform or environmental initiatives, or how risky they believe it might be to pull back from George W. Bush’s "war on terror" policies.

    snip

    This vicious cycle has repeated itself again and again since the Reagan era, when the Right built up its intimidating media apparatus – a vertically integrated machine which now reaches from newspapers, magazines and books to radio, TV and the Internet. The Right accompanied its media apparatus with attack groups to go after troublesome mainstream journalists

    "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

    by TomP on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:16:08 AM PDT

    •  Influences (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, TomP

      I agree that the media is too influenced by the right.  But this doesn't mean that the online media won't be influenced by the right.  Until the rise of blogs about 5 years back, the online world (e.g., Usenet) was primarily conservative with a hefty dose of self-described libertarians.  Soon enough, the online media will be propaganda by moneyed interests.  This dangerous trend has already started, with several candidates using the online media as a free advertising/propaganda source.

      I see parallels to the California referendum system that was introduced by earlier Progressives.  Instead of introducing democracy, they ended up introducing mechanisms for [mostly conservative] special interests to advance their pet causes.

      •  The class stratification in this nation (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sny, soccergrandmom, kurt, zagrobelny

        shows up everywhere.  Already, progressive blogs have become institutionalized, which perhaps is inevitable and even necessary, but the need for income leads to a need for advertising.  The recent kerfluffle over the lack of progressive advertising on progressive blogs shows this.  But so far, blogs reflect their owners to a large degree.  So, a center/left blog like Daily Kos reflects Markos, and since Markos has a libertarian streak regarding free speech, the back pages and comments reflect the various currents in the Dem Party.

        The reactionary right is being marginalized.  Big Business and the center-right likely will seek to create blogs to push their own world view.  Money matters, but I'm not sure it matters as much for blogs, after a certain investment is made.  

        Politico is an example of what you fear.  Places like Daily Kos and TPM are hybrids with both reporting (TPM is more journalistic oriented and dkos more commentary oriented).  I'm uncertain that moneyed interests can replicate the dkos, firedoglake, docudharma, TPM, Open Left model, but time will tell.

        "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

        by TomP on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:48:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  as far as I can see leftwing blogs, this one (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aeolus

        anyway, is already influenced by the right.  One absolutely does not need to watch Fox news if you read DK.

        Over half of the content everyday is regurgitated Fox news stuff, coated in a shake and bake bag true, well cooked and served up as fresh, but still the 'news' or Fox perspective is disseminated to a whole diffrent cohort than the average Fox viewer.

        That in the evenings is reinforced by KO on MSNBC and bingo almost everythibn outrageous Fox said that day is int he public square.

        The blogs are doing Fox's work for them.

  •  I got news for ya Kos (4+ / 0-)

    In as much as losing Newspapers is, as you put it, "losing a good source of journalism" is a nice sentiment, we started losing journalism as an art decades ago.

    And one of the biggest blows to it was the day CNN signed their exclusive embed agreement with the GW Bush White House to be the sponsoring network in Iraq.

    Name rights, in so many words, for an American War.

    That was really the day "journalism" became a fucking joke to me.

  •  fifth estate needs a bailout. (0+ / 0-)
  •  AP always sucks. Check this light piece on Beck-- (0+ / 0-)

    He's not so bad--if you read this

  •  I still... (0+ / 0-)

    ...enjoy my Washington Post in the morning.  I'm a Luddite that way.

    Mitt Palindalhuckalenty for President in 2012.

    by DH from MD on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:20:00 AM PDT

  •  When you say "we" I see you mean front page (0+ / 0-)

    I'd also be curious to see how that works out for diary content as well.  And comments.

    Would be an interesting study, actually.  

    Did you see the AP guy on Charlie Rose the other night?  He just looked pissed at the world he found himself in.  It was truly bizarre.

    Can't figure out how to embed it:
    http://www.charlierose.com/...

    Darwinic pilgrims claim the image fills them with an overwhelming feeling of logic. --The Onion

    by mem from somerville on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:20:04 AM PDT

  •  Journalism will be just fine. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, kurt

    It will adapt.  The newspaper model just can't work.  Printing yesterday's news on paper and throwing it into your front yard is a doomed business model.  The real hand-wringing is by the print advertisers. I spoke to a head of a print marketing company last week who said she knows the newspaper news model cannot work, but she added: "What will we do about the print ads?  Many who advertise in the newspaper cannot find an appropriate avenue to advertise online."

    •  i personally would not mind (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Trial Lawyer Richard

      if that kind of print advertising disappeared completely.

      can someone persuade me why I should care?

      Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
      President Barack Obama. At last.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:26:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are communities (4+ / 0-)

        such as mine that have a significantly older demographic than the national average (average age in Great Falls, MT - 48).  Online ad sales are pathetic here because local businesses see zero value in them.  My newspaper here has a market penetration of upwards of 85%, so small businesses here put plenty into print ads, which is probably the reason that the Great Falls Tribune is the only paper in our distribution tier (circ. 30K) that showed a profit in the first quarter throughout the entire Gannett corporation.

        No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

        by jarhead5536 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:46:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  there'll always be neighborhood flyers (0+ / 0-)

          and other kinds of local print advertising that does not depend on newspapers.

          your post just proves my point--that local newspapers exist to serve the needs of advertisers by providing eyeballs for advertising.  reporting the news in a timely or accurate manner is secondary.  kind of like network television!

          it is more honest to distribute for free a "paper" that is nothing but local ads and stop trying to pretend that news has anything to do with it.  the same people will still read the "paper" because they want to know which paper towels are on sale.  that is what will happen to local advertising if/when the local papers go under, and I don't have any problem with that.

          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
          President Barack Obama. At last.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:55:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I beg to differ in this case. (5+ / 0-)

            We have on staff Pulitzer Prize winning journalists that do an excellent job with local news coverage.  Again, our relative success is due to several factors, including the age of our population, the rural nature of Montana and the insular character of this community in particular, and the lack of interest (access is there) in the Internet or cable/satellite.  The newspaper is the source for local news, particularly since the TV stations have switched over to digital and a hefty portion of people can no longer view it and really don't care to.  The Tribune also publishes a free weekly shopper that is purely advertising, but it tends to be of a more down-market variety...

            No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

            by jarhead5536 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:03:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  i did not mean to impugn your particular paper (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jarhead5536

              and you are definitely right that in rural areas where there is more community feeling to begin with that there will always be a market for in-depth local news.

              i am thinking more of the exurb "local papers" that may as well be weekly shoppers for all of the real news content they provide.

              Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
              President Barack Obama. At last.

              by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:18:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  If only we were all so lucky (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kurt

              I think that this type of coverage has been an exception, and that it's rarer than ever now.

              As a real newpaper junkie, who can't survive without daily delivery of the NYT, I envy anyone who still has a good local newspaper.

              No Real Housewives, but plenty of action at Orange County Progressive Come for the politics. Stay for dessert.

              by Aeolus on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:29:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  because it's cheaper than tv ads? ... (0+ / 0-)

        ...there's a certain "professor" who pimps his video courses on every cable channel 24/7/365, claiming to give the first course "free" minus the obligatory "shipping & handling" fee, of course. I don't know the total of his advertising budget, but it must be staggering, at least in the millions! Frankly, I don't know how he turns any profit at all.

        "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

        by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:53:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's cheap to produce CDs/DVDs (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ImpeachKingBushII, zagrobelny

          Print a CD for 35 cents, charge $7.00 for "shipping and handling".  He is getting more than a two thousand percent markup on the original pitch, and if anyone buys any of his other CD courses, it's pure gravy.

          He doesn't advertise on expensive shows.  He's doing more than OK with his profit margin!

          Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.
          President Barack Obama. At last.

          by TrueBlueMajority on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:00:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  local online coupon sites (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caneel, Trial Lawyer Richard

      can do a lot of advertising. start one up in your town today, and make some $$$ while you're at it.

      "I'm starting to become pretty convinced at this point that 'socialist' is a new code word for 'nigger,'" "Jill Tubman"

      by Punkerpan on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:26:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  then a niche will be created (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Trial Lawyer Richard

      Marketers will go to that niche. Maybe it'll be community newsletters getting the ads (they aren't dying at all), maybe it'll be something else, but be sure that the niche will be filled.

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:40:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I tend to agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zagrobelny

      Which is unfortunate. Because I'm horribly out of touch with other 26 year olds, in that I actually LIKE reading print editions.

      Don't get me wrong - I do get my news online (from both blogs, and "traditional" newspapers that are online). But I prefer to pick up a "paper" edition as an "anchor" news source. Basically, I'll pick up a paper edition of the NYT, and that's what I'll read "in depth."  The online stuff, with maybe the exception of DailyKos, I just tend to scan.

      I dunno why I do this. I think one reason is that I just like reading something on paper rather than staring at a screen.  Another reason is that it's not very convienent for me to set up my laptop everwhere I go, even if wirless internet access were widespread (and it's not, at least around here).  With a "print" newspaper, I can carry my anchor news source around with me.

      Also, as much as I hate to admit it - I don't like the way news stories change so quickly online.  Yeah, I use online news to "skim" what's going on, so I have up to the second news updates. But if I identify something I want to read in depth online, it's often switched with another story by the time I get around to it. With a "print" paper, all the "major" stories are there, and I can read them when I feel like it without having to search.

      So, yeah, even though it's a little lame, I'm actually not always a fan of how online news sources are often updated to the very second.

  •  I don't know where you guys... (4+ / 0-)

    ...get your information, but I get mine by leaving saucer of milk outside at night, and I find the news there in the morning.

    OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

    by Lupin on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:22:08 AM PDT

  •  oh yeah? then smarty pants, just what are we (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi

    supposed to wrap our fish in?

    "I'm starting to become pretty convinced at this point that 'socialist' is a new code word for 'nigger,'" "Jill Tubman"

    by Punkerpan on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:24:27 AM PDT

    •  easy... on your way to your fishin' hole (0+ / 0-)

      you stop and pick up your local version of the printed local want ad wheeler dealer or community news.  They're free, the right size (tabloids work better for panfish and bass, although full layouts are better for pike and walleye and most salt water fish) and usually on better paper.  Why pay $.50 or more for fish wrap paper when an alternative is available for free!

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:53:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How rich and widespread are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi, sistersilverwolf

    the sources that RedState uses (or whatever the Right Wing blog of record, is).

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:25:52 AM PDT

    •  most are easily obtainable (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caneel, Kayakbiker

      60% come from the publican national committee in the form of talking points and the rest come straight from the asses of rush limbaugh, glenn beck, bill o'reilly, sean hannity or any of the other leaders of the publican party.

      I don't know how rich that is (I imagine it's pretty aromatic) but I'm not going to get close enough to find out.

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:57:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  But the resources you use cite newspapers. (5+ / 0-)

    Come on.  This analysis is not intellectually honest!  If you reference blogs referencing newspaper stories, then the newspaper is really the ultimate source, no?

    •  If you read again more carefully (0+ / 0-)

      you will find that 'Kos clicked through to locate the original source of information.  If he found something on a blog that was taken from a newspaper, he credited the newspaper.  Blogs only got credit for their original reporting.  As he puts it:

      If we linked to a source that got its information from another site, we followed the links until we got to the original source of the reporting ("secondary" source). In other words, I wanted to categorize the original source of information for every (front page) post on the site.

      Certainly that would be harder to do for television reporting, since most TV news stories do not cite their sources or inspirations.

  •  Who broke the story: torture at Abu Ghraib? ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt

    ..."60 Minutes II, the New Yorker by Seymour Hersh,&
    Amnesty International and the International Committee of the Red Cross!
    Out of sight, out of mind: the Abu Ghraib story broke when we saw visual proof of torture. Why...
    snip

    The story of American soldiers torturing Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison erupted into the world's consciousness on April 28, when 60 Minutes II aired photographs of prisoner abuse, followed quickly by three historic articles in The New Yorker by Seymour Hersh. But could it have been broken sooner?

    To answer this question, first consider the timeline. As long ago as May 2003, human rights activists--notably Amnesty International and the International Committee of the Red Cross--were bombarding the Bush administration with specific details of humiliating cruelty inflicted on war captives..."

    http://www.allbusiness.com/...

    "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:26:53 AM PDT

  •  What about accessibility? (0+ / 0-)

    What percentage of the US has internet access now?

  •  It's an expanding universe, (0+ / 0-)

    things change - faster, and faster.  We are at the end of an era and that feels weird. We are one of the last generations that will use books or handwriting, too.  Doesn't mean there will be no more information to be had or stories to be told.  It's just different delivery.

  •  The "information" - reportage or opinion? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caneel, kurt, unred

    I'm curious about how much of that information was truly original/primary reporting, and how much of it was merely original opinion or analysis. If a lot of it is the latter, it really doesn't contradict the premise that most consequential investigative reporting comes from newspapers. Offering opinions based on reports that originated elsewhere -- or merely commented on press releases -- isn't really reporting.

    What newspapers do more of is the legwork that contradicts the publicly available information. TV stations almost never do that. Bloggers who sit at their computers necessarily can't do that (all we can do is point to other, contradictory sources of publicly available information). And, advocacy groups bring an agenda that undercuts the perception of credibility with respect to what they write.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:28:06 AM PDT

    •  I do both (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      plenty of opinion ;-0  but I also interview and call or write sources to nail down a story, even if it's background or off the record stuff. And the off the record stuff isn't because it's secret, it's helpful to me but boring and/or not germane to the story.

      it isn't so either/or even whern it's opinion.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:33:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  With public meetings online (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      Either video or audio, staff reports, presentations, et cetera, there's a tremendous amount of data that can be mined without actually attending a meeting.

      In fact, it's sometimes better to listen on-line because it gives you a chance to fact-check data presented with alternate sources.

      There's a huge void in local journalism now that's being filled by multiple sources, as the traditional media, print, radio, tv, just goes through the motions with smaller audiences and fewer resources.

      No Real Housewives, but plenty of action at Orange County Progressive Come for the politics. Stay for dessert.

      by Aeolus on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:54:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And outsourcing. (0+ / 0-)

        Don't forget about the communities who now let reporters in other countries cover their meetings and report on them from afar.

        This is not a good thing.

        "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

        by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:06:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A plug for Pacifica, 60 years old today.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt

    Today marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of Pacifica radio's first station KPFA in Berkeley. They are now on the web at KPFA.org, and are a good resource for both local (Bay Area), national, and international news and commentary. They carry Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! twice each morning, and help keep me posted on a whole variety of news and opinion. I am curious if the 4 radio links mentioned in the story include any Pacifica outlets (which also include WBAI New York, KPFT Houston, and KPFK Los Angeles).

  •  that is an interesting list but it leaves out one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, James Protzman

    aspect which has become as prevalent here, and the rest of the blogs, as it is in both the daily papers and the daily television cable/satellite channels.

    Basically the 'information' based on 'news' meaning what is happening that is new or breaking is all the same.

    If you made a list of a dozen stories, maybe even less, you would find them repeated on all the sources listed. Today for example it is basically the latest pirate attack, the tea baggers, the first dog, although he is already yesterday's news. Cuba already seems to have disappeared as a news story. The only 'news' story is the report on rightwing militias that is causing so much kerfuffle in those circles. However by the time i had turned on my computer at 8am I had already seen and heard an interview with a leader of the American Legion complaining about the unfairness of it all over cSAN's washington Journal. The first place to go for me early in the morning.

    What is more on DK too often the fP articles are oft hen yesterday's news as though FP'ers are living in outer space on a delayed feed.  Same with evening news where Ed, Chris, Keith and Rachel all basically do the same show. The only time you get something different is by going to PBS and the BBC.

    So in essence we are all slurping from the same limited trough.  The fact that newspapers do cover local issues they rarely show up.

    •  your opinon and not necessarily so (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      but then again  not everyone likes to read about puiblic health, pandemic prep or polling analysis.  ;-)

      I can tell you, though, that I tend to write about what I don't see on the news, or a meta-analysis of what I do.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:35:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  for one thing your column is a specialty column (0+ / 0-)

        on statistics and polls. Your daily round up column is generally taken from opeds in newspapers.(I think it is you who collects the pundit roundups?)

        Disclaimer. My comment was not aimed at YOU personally, there are plenty others appearing in this blog and other blogs. That is the problem with making any comment here these days someone always seems to take it as a personal attack.

        And I agree 100% that my comments are always my opinion, my opinion only and are not necessarily so. Most diarists and commentators are. I do not demand anyone believe any thing i say. I have no dog in any fight. I write what believe to be true from my personal perspective, usually after browsing a couple of papers and this blog. Sorry if i inadvertently pushed a button.

        •  hey, I didn't take it as an attack at all! (0+ / 0-)

          just an observation, and one that you might be surprised about, in terms of others besides me when they write. I don't count APR because it's supposed to be based on newspapers. But I know others who spend time talking to primary sources for their front page articles, and I write about more than polls. And this post was about the FP.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Thu Apr 16, 2009 at 04:24:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Wow! I expected radio to be higher, especially (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Krush

    when you consider how many people commute every weekday.

    On the other hand, what does that say about the size of the audience for El Rushbo and crew?

    " ... or a baby's arm holding an apple!"

    by Lavocat on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:32:36 AM PDT

    •  the links are just from this site (0+ / 0-)

      where people who access this site get their information. I listen to talk radio,  but not for information. I like to know what my neighbors are going rant about so I can think of ways to counter it in conversation.

      Praise Jesus Christ! It works for me. He has a fairly large following.

      by Krush on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:46:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  radio is primary, invisible, much of rest is 2nd (0+ / 0-)

      much of the rest of the trad media feed off the weekly smorgasbord the right wing think tanks blast to the country through limbaugh and hannity from 1000 uncontested radio stations- from talking points to one liners to creating emphasis.

      so much of our daily news the last 20 years has been shaped by the giant talk radio soapbox- distorting liberals, establishing excuses for republicans, feeding lies, and turning molehills into mountains.

      and most of it without a linkable record.

      ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

      by certainot on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 04:03:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  PS blago, tea baggers, pirates, immigration (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt

        are some of the many examples of talk radio monopoly in action and how it can create emphasis in the rest of the media, some of it over months, through sheer repetition and volume.

        but only the secondary and tertiary effects are observable because there is no written record to indicate the relative volume and repetition.

        fox TV is constantly given credit for right wing crap that would hardly be noticed or given any credibility if not for the work done earlier in the day or week on radio. but fox is largely a secondary news source/creator.

        ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

        by certainot on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 04:13:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I always appreciate these posts on journalism (6+ / 0-)

    There is much to think through.

    My own view is that the flaw of averages is at work here.  Newspaper and broadcast news coverage vary dramatically from market to market, with many communities being grossly under-served.

    Kos has famously said that state blogs are labors of love, which is certainly true for BlueNC where I write every day.  In my case, there is no good substitute yet available for the core of reporters who cover state government. In North Carolina, there are basically five people who do the work, four with newspaper and one with a radio station. Without them, we'd have no idea what's happening in the state legislature.

    If they disappeared, a new option might emerge over time. Hell, I might even get back into the business and abandon my labor of love. Such a development may be inevitable, but it won't be pretty. I'd prefer for local media to get their shit together and get back to basics.

  •  Journalism is already adapting, the key (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skywaker9, 714day, thelatinist

    is to still question everything you read or hear, and go to the original source(s) if possible.

    "A conservative is a man who is too cowardly to fight and too fat to run." Elbert Hubbard

    by gereiztkind on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:35:27 AM PDT

  •  The most disturbing thing about the AP (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skywaker9, James Protzman, zagrobelny

    For me, the most disturbing thing about the AP is how much U.S. newspapers depend on it for their international news. The agency is virtually the gatekeeper for international news in the U.S., and what they report is usually heavily tainted and biased. There are far better agencies reporting from abroad, including Reuters, EFE and the BBC, as any newshound knows. Domestically, Bloomberg and UPI provide a product that is far superior to the AP's juvenile efforts.

    (Oh, here's Neil Cavuto on Fox reporting from an empty teabagger auditorium.)

    "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

    by cadejo4 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:35:32 AM PDT

    •  This is a cost issue. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zagrobelny

      With plummetting circulation comes plummetting ad revenue, and it's VERY expensive to employ foreign based journalists, let alone a national desk for local papers.  It is simply more cost effective to utilize pool reporting such as AP.  My paper has jettisoned national and international news entirely, feeling that such content is readily available from a multitude of sources, and we focus exclusively on local and regional content...

      No politician ever lost an election by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. PT Barnum, paraphrased...

      by jarhead5536 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:49:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Self Selecting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soccergrandmom, kurt, unred

    Well, DKos is a very narrow collection of topics of stories, especially on the front page. And even there, newspapers make up the largest category of sources, and 20% of the total is substantial. I'd say that newspapers publish more than 50% of their content on stories other than the political ones DKos frontpagers want to post, so newspapers contribute a lot more than that 20% share to overall news reporting.

    It's well known on DKos that corporate mass media fails to report on a lot of stories that we're interested in seeing here on DKos, so those numbers aren't too surprising that they're not higher. What we want is newspapers that report more on these important but ignored stories, not to lose the sources in an industry collapse.

    The DKos stats are somewhat self-selecting. But if newspapers used their longer and more literate format to cover the news better, they'd probably find a larger audience and a more profitable market. Self-selection works both ways.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:40:28 AM PDT

    •  They won't for long. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DocGonzo

      It's a fast and easy world coming up.  Oversized, messy print media, poorly/incompletely indexed is on the way to the morgue.  It's inevitable.

      •  Mobile (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt

        There will probably still remain a niche for disposable paper digests of the longer format coverage online. It's going to be a decade or more before mobile devices can deliver displays as big as a newspaper, either in "goggles" (or equivalent) or fold-out portable displays. We still use a lot of pen and paper today, despite a half-century of talking about the "paperless office". So in the indefinite meantime, there's a niche for paper editions, even if they're just a "teaser" for the main edition online. Especially for people on public transit (who several paper digest editions have sprung up to serve in the past few years), in waiting rooms, diners/coffeeshops and other places which can subscribe to them. Weekend editions full of crapola will move online, or become more like weekly magazines, which seem to be surviving the "newspaper" crisis OK.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:18:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pen and paper is going out, too. (0+ / 0-)

          As you say, it's taking more time than the "futurists" of the 60's predicted.  PC's were not ubiquitous until the 90's, however, and a calculator was taboo in a math class in the Beatles era.  I don't think my great great grandchildren will be posting letters to anybody unless it's done online.  Junior high school kids must submit essays produced on a keyboard.  Cursive is an idle exercise already.

          Regardless of the format, information will get through and communication will continue.  I don't doubt it.

          •  Pen & Paper Forever (0+ / 0-)

            Nah, pens & paper are staying for a long time. Only when devices are as cheap and ubiquitous as pen & paper will pen & paper start to disappear. In the meantime, though keyboard and PDA, and even phone/keyboard tech has been ubiquitous for a decade or more, pen & paper has only grown - because pens and paper are ever more cheap and ubiquitous, and have zero overhead. Paper is more omnipresent than ever, and will continue to be.

            I've been in computers since 1977, and the longer we get "closer to paperless", the more paper computers have given us to write on. What I expect will change will be cheap scanners for our paper scraps, which are just becoming ubiquitous. Soon enough we'll all have cameras scanning everything we see, so the paper will be scanned and indexed for online use immediately. But all that will just make paper that much more useful, and so more ubiquitous.

            People like paper. What we'll have to see is a real revolution turning against anything disposable. Which is indeed approaching, with recycling becoming a way of life. But that's going to take a decade before people start to resist tabloid newspapers, while the rest of the economics continue to support it.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 02:44:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Wing nuts like to brag about fox ratings (0+ / 0-)

    but the only lead in TV viewership, they get their ass kicked on the web.  They are 8th, even behind AOL; MSNBC leads on the web.

    Click here for all your political gear, including new laser etching technology! Don't like mine? Make your own!

    by sgilman on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:41:26 AM PDT

  •  There it is, the "I take no pleasure in" clause, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    714day, jarhead5536

    the equivalent of "bless their hearts."

    As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

    by ticket punch on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:42:12 AM PDT

  •  so if newspapers go away (5+ / 0-)

    The leading source of news for America goes away with it.

    And I'm sorry to say that many previous posts about the "arrogant" newspapers seemed pretty "gleeful" in tone about it.

    Sorry that the rest of us, outside the "blogger bubble" may feel a little worried about the demise of newspapers.

    Please don't let the "blogger bubble" become as big as the "beltway bubble"...

    •  Also.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      To pretend that you don't know that the stats on Newspapers INCLUDES a large amount of AP content is a little disingenous. Not defending AP, they and their "editorial" staff are dick heads and I hope they would be replaced, but to say that there low number of picks in this poll represents there actual influence is like polling about newspaper comic strips and saying United Feature Syndicate has no influence because people don't know it's content by name.

  •  What r the #s excluding the pundit roundoup? n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  AP seems to be outsourced (0+ / 0-)

    I read Yahoo! Most Viewed News as my homepage.  I notice considerable spelling errors, missing words, and an almost phonetic English quality to the writing.  It reads, quite often, like a person from India, for instance, is writing stories about towns in America.  I don't have specific examples, because I haven't begun collecting them. Hulk no like collections! Hulk too busy with taxes.  Hulk smash taxes.

    I just love when I call ATT when my TV is messed up, and I am speaking to a man reading a card, telling me how to plug/unplug my converter box.  I have invited a few to come and unplug it themselves.  They don't seem to have anything in their script to respond to that.

    "Ya wanna listen to Rush?" "No, I'm kinda off him lately" --my republican 88 year old caregivee

    by amthinkin on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:48:42 AM PDT

  •  Abbreviated Pundit Roundup v. Newspapers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt

    Why subscribe to newspapers when they have opinion pages with the vague and souless ramblings by people who hate me, root against me, and lie about me. Everyday they tell me I am a hate-filled traitor or an anti-American lunatic while praising people like Yoo or Cheney.

    You want me to pay for George Will?

    I read Abbreviated Pundit Roundup and I see FAIL in a sentence or short paragraph without having to spend five more minutes of my life I'll never get back.

    The internet kicks ass because while I am reading a story I can open another tab or window and find the counter-point or data or news story that the author is discussing. And if the author has guts they put the links in for you. I can't imagine a Will column with a link to a peer-reviewed independent source.

    The punditocracy and O'Pinioneillys hate the internet because the medium doesn't allow them the appearance of authority. And appearance of authority is their only strength.

    "You know, just because the thing I saw wasn't there doesn't mean there wasn't something there that I didn't see." Ann Althouse, Conservative Thoughtmeister

    by Bill Section 147 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:50:03 AM PDT

    •  I think that's abit unfair, but then (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      I never ever read a George Will column. However if you read an E.J. Dionne column, or a Gene Robinson or a Bob Herbert or a Nicholas Kristoff or heaven forbid Thomas Friedman or David Brooks, just to mention a few. All of thm have got the message and their columns are usually filled with links that lead one to buttressing perspectives or opposing perspective.

      The point is that basically no matter where one reads information it is generaly originated on the internet. I can't even get delivery of the NYT or WaPol where i live, but i can check them both out first thing in the morning and then decuide what stories or opinions or items I am interested in puyrsuing that day.

      They are all parasites and symbiotic, writers and readers. The origins are just dleivery mechanisms.

      •  So the internet is better, like I said... (0+ / 0-)

        Is your comment that my point, that the internet is a superior medium for information to the newspaper, is unfair? I missed something.

        The pieces you cite are on the internet not in the newspaper.

        They do not publish those links in the newspaper.

        "You know, just because the thing I saw wasn't there doesn't mean there wasn't something there that I didn't see." Ann Althouse, Conservative Thoughtmeister

        by Bill Section 147 on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 12:23:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My point was that because i could not get (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt

          delivery of these papers where i live I could not read them in the print version, therefore I am forced to read them online.  If I could get them in a timely and affordable fashion I would prefer to read them in the print version actually.

          I am not claiming either is better, the online version probably wouldn't exist without the print version.  And even if it did I still would not want the print version to disappear.

  •  Ours is a "RICH" media environment? No! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caneel, Naranjadia, kurt, unred

    As a nation.......

    We have a poor media environment when it comes to diversity of ownership.

    We also suffer terribly from conformity and narrowness. . . . chasing after whatever bright and shiny distraction is thrown out in front of us.

    Major British newspapers and their websites have dedicated sections about The  Environment...........ours don't.

    Have you ever tuned in to Pacifica radio stations or read The Guardian newspaper? They have a wider view and a certain original turn of thought. Where else do you find serious discussions about atheism, about the sociology of power, etc.?

    http://www.pacifica.org/

    http://archive.wbai.org/

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/

    ----------------------

    The Media

    The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western World. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity-much less dissent.

       Gore Vidal (b. 1925), U.S. novelist, critic. A View from the Diner's Club, "Cue the Green God, Ted" (1991).

    The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations is licensed from Columbia University Press. Copyright © 1993, 1995 by Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

    Media Reform Action Link http://stopbigmedia.com/

    by LNK on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 08:55:32 AM PDT

  •  How many of the other sources get their info from (5+ / 0-)

    Newspapers?

    The second and third highest sources for info was from blogs and advocacy organizations.  The question is how many of those orgs relied on newspapers for information.  I work for an advocacy organization and often rely on our local paper to get info to give to our members.

    The bottom line is that somebody will always have to do the work that newspapers do now.  Whether it's on actual newsprint or online it needs to be done.  If it transfers to online I hope the same standard for checking sources, etc. will still stand.  

    Personally I hope newspapers are always around. Nothing beats reading the newspaper while having a cup of coffee for me.

    •  and how much newspaper emphasis is shaped (0+ / 0-)

      and intimidated by talk radio on local and national level?

      owners and editors can feel the heat when limbaugh and hannity single them out for criticizing bush, or doing a global warming story, for example.

      ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

      by certainot on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 04:18:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  kos, it's the LOCAL COVERAGE that will suffer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, kurt, zagrobelny

    when newspapers die.  How else can our local communities be well-informed and politically empowered except through local coverage?   (And I don't mean the brainless talking heads on local TV news).        

    National stories, and certain lower-level ones (think Rod Blagojevich) will always get people's attention.   What about the city and county pols on the take, the state agency malfeasance, the local corrupt sheriff?  The Los Angeles Times has run stories on all these in the past few years -- not perfectly, and not consistently, but the paper has shined a light on several baskets of worms that otherwise would have gone unnoticed.

    Tell me, please, where this coverage will come from when only the Internet does the news.  

    Their cause, if they had one, is nothing to them now. They hate for hate's sake. (W.H. Auden)

    by dotalbon on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 09:04:29 AM PDT

  •  Newspaper Owners have hurt themselves... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, unred, zagrobelny

    ...with completely distorted profit targets and ideas about what kind of a capitalist enterprise a newspaper can really be. The frustrating thing is that there are actually alot of newspapers that are making ends meet, but are not "Profitable" in the sense of delivering big returns to the owners and shareholders, so therefore they are considered "failures" and targets for aggressive cuts and layoffs. The reality is that newspapers will always (assuming they continue to exist) be operations that exist not to make big money but to deliver the news, and if the owners dont understand that, there's no way they'll survive.

  •  Sorry kos, it's worse than you claim. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, unred

    Take, for example, the city of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    When the Ann Arbor News stops publishing in a couple of months, where will the people of Ann Arbor get their local news?  From Daily Kos?  I don't think so.

    Local newspapers are just about the only institutions that keep tabs on what happens in local government.  This is a vital function.  We'll all be in big trouble if local newspapers go under.

  •  Is there survey bias (0+ / 0-)

    Could the survey of KOSSACK sources (for example low links to AP) reflect our systematic bias, i.e. these sources carries stories we don't want to hi-light?

    I agree AP seems to have bias, but we also have bias in stories Kossacks highlight.

  •  Why does TPM buy from AP? (0+ / 0-)

    Can someone tell me this?  I've posted there to ask, but gotten crickets.

    It's not that they don't understand the problem.  They coined "tire-swinging", and have been on the ball about AP and Politico's nonsense as anyone.

    Why are they giving the AP money?  If AP really is as pointless as we think, and the analysis in this diary is right, couldn't they find another source rather easily?

    "The problem isn't government, it's Republican government - and everyone knows it." TPM reader BH

    by itswhatson on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 10:11:46 AM PDT

  •  the gap is already being filled (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caneel
    by the same exact people using new, relevant mediums

    looks like the "gap" of investigative journalism won't even exist.

    carpe diem,
    jeremy n mendonsa

    by jmendonsa on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 10:13:50 AM PDT

  •  Important question (which you won't answer) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unred

    How many of the actual news stories (I wonder whether those 6 books included the book reviews, which would probably take all of them for instance) that you include from TV utilized newspapers as the primary source (since TV never originally reports on anything anymore).  That'd skew the ratio.  And technically the AP (while it sucks and isn't a huge number) should probably be a part of the newspaper number.

    "Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut

    by Mister Gloom on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 11:09:23 AM PDT

    •  since AP is especially hostile to bloggers (0+ / 0-)

      useful and appropriate to pull them out. You can always add them in.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 12:17:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt

    The newsgathering apparatus is far, far more important than anyone realizes or is willing to admit. Infrastructure is vitally important. The Blog-o-sphere simply does not have the resources or penetration to really report the news. The only bloggers that legitimately write news are usually former journalists who still have the skills and contacts to "do" news. These will not be around forever and there will be no new ones created if the profession of journalism dies.

    Without large newsgathering operations, our vision will be narrower than ever and we will be the worse for it.

  •  how do you link to talk radio? (0+ / 0-)

    karl rove's invisible media 2x4- ignored by the people and causes it attacks constantly because there has been no written record.

    that's the beauty of the GOP propaganda operation that has been determining what is  and what isn't acceptable in the trad media the last 20 years with sheer coordinated uncontested repetition from 1000 of the country's loudest radio stations- it can push talking points into the mainstream, turn molehills into mountains, swiftboat candidates and causes, threaten politicians and pass legislation, and no one can trace the origins of the 'popularity' to the fact that limbaugh and hannity and sons have been given the largest soapbox in the country.

    ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

    by certainot on Wed Apr 15, 2009 at 03:51:07 PM PDT

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