Just catching up on my New Yorker articles and read this interesting one by Eric Alterman about the death of the newspaper.
Yes, newspapers are dying, in fact – they predict the last one will be delivered to the last door on 2043 (not sure how they came to that, but yay for trees.)
The real point I took from the article was "good God! this is horrid, because original reporting is HARD and EXPENSIVE… Blogging is all well and good, but all bloggers do is pontificate and comment on other original sources"… which to a great degree is true.. (omg, is that me admitting to being full of bs?)
The reality is, I don't see any way that the "blogosphere" will support traditional reporting as it functions today. He points out that the Baghdad berau of the Times costs $3m/year to run, and the Huffington Post, which is a leading blogish new media news source, is maybe pulling over 10m a year in ad revenue.
Here's the thing that's odd. Early in the article he points out that the idea of non-biased reporting is actually really new. A late 20th century model at best. Our countries forefathers fought one another with their privately owned papers. Certainly the great industrialists (Hearst anyone) were pretty far from non-biased. Murdoch of News Corp fame is hardly considered fair and equitable to all parties… So where is this dream like non-biased "professional" reporting model we're supposed to be so in love with. I get that it's not easy to be on the ground in Baghdad, but really, isn't a soldier who is ‘part of it' a better voice than someone with a pen and press pass? What if you look at the world and say "actually, we should ALL be reporting. Reporting what you see, from a sane, but real bias is your responsibility as a contributing member of society." Wouldn't that give us a better world than "reading the New York Times every day" is your responsibility as a contributing member of society? I'll be the first to admit that we probably don't have the searching and aggregating logic needed to create some signal out of the noise of 7 billion opinions, and we all should be better writers… But i dunno, something always seems strained about the "But I'm TRAINED to be non-biased" argument. In a postmodern world where our art tells us there is no one single truth – how can we expect a newspaper to do it… and make a profit..