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NVN Publisher/Editor Keven Graves defended the work of local newspapers in his Op-Ed this week, titled
“Newspapers are headed for a lockdown”
where he said,
“Meanwhile, weekly newspapers are faring much better than their daily relatives in this evolving world.

The focus of most weekly newspapers is local news and information, and thats where television, daily newspapers and even the Internet cannot compete.

Sure, regional news stations show up in Yelm to cover the major crashes, fires and other major incidents, but they dont cover city government, local features or homecoming.

Thats what we do…

When you want to learn more about your city council or school board candidates, water, traffic or local events, where do you turn?”

Ed. Note: This writer strongly supports local newspapers, quotes from them and advertises with them, regardless of the exceptions I take on occasion to Mr. Graves’ NVN. The local newspapers have covered many Yelm issues they read about first on this Blog, as well [i.e. this Blog was the first of any media to break the story on the Thurston Highlands default]. I wrote about the sad state of our disappearing daily, venerable newspapers on January 12, 2009 with the then-immanent demise of the Seattle P-I.

Some counter what Mr. Graves says about the future of newspapers.
Interesting then, that NEWSWEEK Magazine had this story the same week as his Op-Ed:

“Nobody in their right mind believes the future of the news business involves paper and ink rather than pixels on a screen. We all know where the news business is headed, and what’s more, we’ve known it for at least a decade. So why on earth are people talking about a bailout for newspapers? Why is President Obama saying he’d consider it? Why is Congress holding hearings and considering “The Newspaper Revitalization Act” in a bid to save these ailing old rags with tax breaks and other handouts? It’s like introducing legislation to save horse-drawn carriages, or steam engines, or black-and-white TV. It’s stupid. It’s pointless. It won’t work.

The fact is, all this hysteria has nothing to do with saving the news, or saving jobs. Nor is it about saving democracy, which is what the red-in-the-face newspaper lovers always get themselves huffed about, as if newspapers and democracy were inextricably linked. Democracy existed long before newspapers did, and it will survive without them. And plenty of countries that don’t have democracy do have newspapers. Nor would a bailout help readers. In fact, it would only slow down our shift to the Internet, which is a far better medium for delivering information…

Now, new companies with names like Politico and Huffington Post and The Daily Beast and Gawker are beating newspapers at their own game. The new guys are faster, and often better. They’re leading, with newspapers chasing behind. If the old guys really want to retain their chokehold on the news business, they should consider buying up the new guys. Problem is, the old guys waited too long, and now they’re too broke to make acquisitions. Whoops…

As for all the hand-wringing about the great “in-depth” information that only a newspaper can provide, let’s be honest: the typical daily newspaper does a lousy job. It tries to provide a little bit of everythingpolitics, sports, business, celebrity stuffand as a result it doesn’t do anything particularly well,” quoting Newsweek.

Posted by Steve on October 12, 2009 at 5:50 am | Permalink

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