The Newspaper’s Funeral

I can hear the faint but familiar sound of taps in the distant.

As metropolitan dailies continue to close their doors, the livelihood of news is dwindling. You can watch in horror on sites like Newspaper Deathwatch, which chronicles the paper’s untimely death.

So why after hundreds of years are we losing the very vehicle that has hand- delivered democracy to our doorsteps every morning?

Well, in part, we are a part of the problem. Our fascination with the Internet is costing precious advertising dollars to newsrooms that in turn cut staff in order to get by. Not to worry, those under paid staff members were only doing little things like ensuring accuracy, keeping us informed and making sure the entire world isn’t misguided.

With smaller staffs and a desperate desire to keep us engaged, news is resorting to sensationalism and 24-hour news cycles that care more about ratings than what is right. Just please the sponsors and advertising bucks, and remember, “if it bleeds it leads.” I’ll probably still be paying for my journalism/print news degree when I witness the end of this era that all my past generations shared in.

What we’re really dealing with is bigger than the death of newspapers. This is the death of news. The degradation of journalism as a whole that now cares more about the latest celebrity behind bars than the latest legislation in Congress.

Because we are part of the problem, it’s our responsibility to be part of the solution – a return to truth and substance in the news. Whether support will come in the form of government subsidies or philanthropic donations, something substantial must materialize. Something must stir in our minds to demand more than what we have now.

What do you think about the role of advertising in news? Where do you see the future of the news industry? What can we do to make a difference in the years ahead?

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2 Comments

Filed under comtemporary_media_issues

2 responses to “The Newspaper’s Funeral

  1. We definitely are witnessing the death of news in its current form. Few in our generation are interested in paying for a package that sums up all the pertinent information of the day the way newspapers did. So a media outlet that tries to cover everything is going to have a hard time staying afloat financially.
    But there’s still an audience, I think, for niche content. Sometimes that niche is junk news. Sometimes it’s partisan drivel that just tells the reader/viewer what they want to hear. Yet there may also be small crowds willing to pay for serious news if it’s delivered in an engaging, multimedia format. That may not make for a well-informed general public, but it ensures that important issues can still be reported somewhere on the web.

  2. Brynne Tuggle

    I think advertising needs to stop being the most important consideration when news organizations are making decisions. I am not so innocent to believe that making money isn’t important. The media industry has to survive. But it can’t be the leading factor in making decisions about content. Content is still king! It’s still vitally important to the industry of journalism. We must find a way to make money but keep the “story” at the center of our focus.

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