Two good pieces are out this week about the unfortunate evolution of newspapers. In the good old days – which weren’t that long ago – newsrooms were brimming with reporters eager to root out corruption and trained to aim the bright light of public disclosure on any institution or individual. But a story about the ownership of the U-T San Diego [formerly the Union-Tribune] illustrates that the people reporters should be keeping an eye on are, increasingly, the same ones signing their paychecks.
This is significant because the people and institutions opposing workers are controlling the medium once used to expose bias and wrong-doing. It’s significant because it’s evidence that workers and the labor movement can’t rely on newspapers to get their message out any longer. In a separate blog post, reporter Alec MacGillis examines the impact of changes to newspaper ownership and the impact that the declining number of reporters has had on journalism.
But it’s not all bleak.
Time-tested methods to get the message out may not be as effective as they once were, but in the 21st Century we have other ways to get our messages out – from blogs, to Facebook, to Twitter… there really is no lack of options to distribute information. So even if one door is closing, others are opening.