Saturday, November 15, 2008

Newspapers need you, the reader

Cody Todd writes:

The future of newspapers is in the hands of readers.

Journalists can bemoan the long, agonizing death of print media all they want, but it is the reader, and only the reader, who can keep this industry alive and well.

There are many things we, as journalists, can do, like giving more in-depth coverage to issues, providing context to news stories and protecting the integrity of our reporting. Doing these things creates a better product for our readers.

It’s these strengths that make a newspaper a valuable source of information for people living in a free and democratic country.

Television, blogs and radio focus on the quick blurb to grab attention. Facts seem secondary to a good headline or sound bite. Only newspapers can provide a thorough look at the important news and issues of the day.

Those in charge of the newsprint industry understand this principle and yet so many fail to fully maximize those capabilities. It is a failing on the part of newsrooms across this country.

But newspapers and the journalists who produce them are not only at fault. Readers need to demand more from their newspapers. Readers need to get engaged with today’s news and issues. Doing this puts greater demand on newspapers and the people who own and run newspapers, to produce a better product.

Most people are unaware of the massive job losses in the media sector. Hundreds and even thousands of jobs are being cut each year in newsrooms across Canada and the United States. Your newspapers are being gutted from the inside to satisfy the bottom line determined by an accountant and a declining readership.

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