Some more arguments on why newspapers matter: extracts from an article by Eduardo Porter on NewYorkTimes.com
"The argument that if newspapers go bust there will be nobody covering city hall is true. It’s also true that corruption will rise, legislation will more easily be captured by vested interests and voter turnout will fall."
"It’s easy to forget the role of an independent press in the development of democratic institutions in the United States. Through much of the 19th century, newspapers were mostly partisan mouthpieces. But as circulation and advertising grew, they shed political allegiances and started competing for customers by investigating shady deals and taking up populist causes."
"From the creation of the Food and Drug Administration to limits on working hours, a lot of progressive-era reforms might have failed without an independent press."
In 1981, the Indian economist Amartya Sen argued that the famine caused by China’s Great Leap Forward could never have happened in India because the government could not have ignored the plight of its people. “Newspapers play an important part in this,” he said.
"Reporting the news in far-flung countries, spending weeks on investigations of uncertain payoff, fighting for freedom of information in court — is expensive. Virtually the only entities still doing it on the necessary scale are newspapers. Letting them go on the expectation that the Internet will enable a better-informed citizenry seems like a risky bet.!"
Story via the Newspaper Project
Saturday Seven Up
5 hours ago