Genghis Conn's piece The Twilight of Newsprint is a pretty damn good summary of the sad state of things at Connecticut's dwindling number of newspapers and shrinking number of reporters. It's getting dark out there.
Here's a key passage:
There are plenty of people who would not be sad to see newspapers go, but those people don’t get it. We need the newspapers, or something like them. We need professional journalists covering cities, towns, government and everything else in Connecticut. Blogs and citizen journalism are great, and help cover some of the gaps, but they only go so far and do so much. The problem is that huge gaps are appearing in coverage, and there is not much out there that’s filling them. One needs only to look at how thin the ranks of Capitol journalists are to realize just how much of a problem this is.
Some sort of new model is needed. Professional journalism is a cornerstone of our republic, and it needs to survive in some form. It’s sad that it may not be as newspapers, although I think they still have an important place in our society. I may be a blogger and a denizen of the Web, but I’m also a librarian, and I know that words printed on paper have a power and a weight that words printed on the ephemeral, mutable and chaotic internet simply do not.
I'm increasingly convinced that a "new model" is required to make sure that people get the news they need from reliable journalists. But finding that model is the trick for all of us.
Let's see what ideas are out there that would do what's needed.
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