Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Will newspaper failures cripple watchdog journalism?

Heath Haussamen writes:

The news from the newspaper industry in the last week has been disturbing. The New York Times is borrowing some $225 million against its headquarters building to free up cash. Tribune Co., which publishes the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The Miami Herald, and the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, have joined the list of newspapers that are for sale.

The Rocky Mountain News is owned by E.W. Scripps Co., which closed down the Albuquerque Tribune earlier this year after it failed to find a buyer, and there seems to be a good chance the Denver paper is headed for the same fate.

When I was studying journalism in college 10 years ago, professors predicted that the shift to the Internet was 50 years away. But the ease of accessing information on the Internet and advances in technology, coupled with the failure of newspapers to adapt and the current economic woes, means the climax of that shift is upon us.

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