Monday, March 30, 2009

Death Of News

A lot is being said about the demise of the newspaper of late. In this Guardian article the producer of The Wire argues that corruption in high places will rise without newspapers being around to be the watchdogs and whistleblowers. That idea is worth some pondering. While everyone with a blog or Twitter account can report on what they see happening in their vicinity - be it covering a natural or man-made disaster or inside workplace information - it does not substitute or replace old-fashioned news-reporting. Though lot of what citizen journalists are able to provide is useful, it has its limits.

Without a professional editorial team to ensure quality and credibility of what is being published, the legions of self-styled journalists just cannot command the same cachet as the the writers of op-ed pieces in respected publications. Then there is also the whole business of serious investigative journalism which falls to the wayside.

He scoffs at the notion that amateur "citizen journalism", or new online-only outlets, might take the place of newspaper reporters: "The internet does froth and commentary very well, but you don't meet many internet reporters down at the courthouse."

Newspapers may have to go more online than ever and make a lot their content available freely to readers who are reluctant to pay for their news consumption. However, without having some paid content, it would be hard for them to successfully report news that matters and in as such, it would become impossible for blogosphere and twitterscape to froth and fulminate over it.

1 comment:

ggop said...

Well said HC!