We Love To Bash the Papers….But Be Careful of What We Wish For!

Deborah Saunders writes in the SF Chronicle today about a favorite American pasttime–bashing newspapers. But she makes some excellent points, since most blogs and on-line news sources rely on flipping through the newspapers they bash for story ideas.

“I wonder who will be around in five years to cover stories. Or what talk radio will talk about when hosts can’t just siphon from carefully researched stories, because they never were written.

Newspapers are the public’s referees as to which information is credible. You can go online and read no end of fiction and smear about public figures. But when you read content in a newspaper, you consistently can rely on it.”

It’s true…you can rely on a story that’s published in a newspaper. “The New York Times reported,” is validity for the truth behind the story, in most cases. It’s harder to convince people of your argument when you say that “As printed on Readuponit.”

In the column Saunders relates how during a speaking engagement, the news the the Chronicle is losing money was met with applause from rude audience members. But we should be careful what we wish for, because as she eloquently sums up:

“When a newspaper dies, you don’t get a comprehensive periodical to fill the void. You get an informational vacant lot into which passers-by can throw their junk.”