Friday, February 20, 2009

It's Okay If Newspapers Die

Bruce Bartlett writes an article on Forbes.com where the central point of the piece defeats the main purpose for writing it.

Confusing right. Well I'll explain.

Bartlett believes that it is important for newspapers to survive so that there are reputable news sources to educate the public with reliable information. He is correct in saying that blogs are not accurate news sources since bloggers are not editors and therefore post items that contain mistakes in them.

However...he misses the point of what blogs are supposed to be. The first major blog was the Drudge Report and it simply just links to stories around the web. Blogs are a social media tool where individuals find stories from around the web and share them with a like minded audience. Blogs are news communities not journalism.

However, the best part the article is when he states that newspapers should be bought up by think tanks, foundations, universities, or even political parties. This is laugh out loud funny.

What Bartlett doesn't realize is that think tanks, foundations, universities, and political parties all have websites and make their articles and policy studies available to the public. Therefore the public can read their content...and be educated. So there is no purpose for newspapers, since these institutions are regarded my writers as reliable sources. Also, most opinion pieces in newspapers come from these institutions any way. I think it would be cool if the Heritage Foundation bought the Washington Times as Bartlett suggests, but it is not necessary.

The real way for newspapers to become relevant again and grow their subscription rates is to be more ideologically diverse and feature important investigative reporting. Nobody needs to buy the New York Times to read about President Obama buying his girls a dog. How about presenting the facts regarding his past government service and how it will affect his decision making capabilities as president. I know...what a novel idea. In order to survive, newspapers have to go back to being a watchdog of government, rather than a lapdog for liberalism.

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