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Last Chance?

I have been having discussion after discussion with people terrified that the “newspaper of record,” The New York Times, might cease to exist in a meaningful way. How will we know what is going on in the world? What will replace it as a daily report that we can share and discuss? And, underneath all that, what will set our societal agenda other than the government (which none of us fully trusts)?

One would think that journalism schools, news organizations and foundations would be leaping over each other trying to figure out the solutions to these questions. They are not. And it may well be that in about a year or two The New York Times becomes a significantly diminished online presence, with a much smaller staff and fewer resources. (See, for example, Michael Hirschorn’s article in the current Atlantic magazine predicting a possible collapse by this May.) What will we do then? Isn’t it easier to anticipate the problem and try to solve it in advance, rather than waiting for the newspaper’s failure and bemoaning our loss, each separately?

But then again, isn’t this the way we seem to approach most of our major problems – from the environment to the automobile industry to the financial markets? Couldn’t the people in media have been a little bit smarter????

One Comment

  1. Giovanni DB wrote:

    I think bloggers should get worried to. If newspapers in general and NYT in particular die where they’ll all get their infos? what they’ll be able to write and moan about? Without the core of the information and the means to get it internet seams an empty container
    The more it goes the more it seams to me that the internet is similar to a parasite. It takes a lot but do not give anything in return.
    By no means I’m saying that I do not like internet, I actually use it every day, but there should be a way of coexistence.

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 5:49 am | Permalink

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