Monday, May 11, 2009

Newspapers are too essential to fail

During last week's Senate hearing on the "Future of Journalism," Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., observed that the newspaper industry appears to be an "endangered species."

A chorus of senators rightfully expressed concern that newspapers' role as watchdogs and cornerstones of an informed democracy is jeopardized by the wrenching recession that has toppled many economic pillars.

But the news industry doesn't face a crisis of journalism. It is a crisis of advertising that affects all commercial media — including local television, magazines, radio and cable news. Like newspapers, other media companies have been enforcing layoffs, unpaid furloughs and pay cuts to reduce expenses as revenue shrinks as advertisers pull back.

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