Why everyone is talking about newspapers now

Dateline: Wed 23 Jul 2008

Bruce Hetrick, the communications guy, recently penned a blog on the guilt he feels for subscribing to newspapers yet not reading them.

"Everyone is doing it," he noted, speaking of the bright light now focused on newspapers. He's right on the money.

We are witnesses to a train wreck, and we can't take our eyes off the carnage. But why does this subject get to so many of us at such a gut level?

Read the following, sent by a reader, written by Chris Hedges of AlterNet.

Here's a taste:

"The decline of newspapers is about the rise of the corporate state, the loss of civic and public responsibility on the part of much of our entrepreneurial class and the intellectual poverty of our post-literate world, a world where information is conveyed primarily through rapidly moving images rather than print."

There is a reason the newspaper industry historically was known as the Fourth Estate. It is part of the checks and balances that make the U.S. a great country and Americans such invigorating, curious people. If we lose it, it will be like losing a limb -- we will never be the same.

Hedges premise is that the Internet won't save newspapers. I agree. Here is more from Hedges, then the link:

"Newspapers, when well run, are a public trust. They provide, at their best, the means for citizens to examine themselves, to ferret out lies and the abuse of power by elected officials and corrupt businesses, to give a voice to those who would, without the press, have no voice, and to follow, in ways a private citizen cannot, the daily workings of local, state and federal government. Newspapers hire people to write about city hall, the state capital, political campaigns, sports, music, art and theater. They keep citizens engaged with their cultural, civic and political life."

And the link:

http://www.alternet.org/democracy/92284

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