Archive - Nov 19, 2008

The Future of the Newspaper

The future of newspapers took on a new urgency in Connecticut when Editor and Published wrote about Two Connecticut Dailies Facing Shuttering if a Buyer isn’t Found. Those of us that follow media discussions at conference after conference may have grown a tad weary of the topic. Sure, there is a constant stream of stories about newspapers cutting back and dire predictions about the impact this will have on news coverage and our democracy, but the world continues to function. This, however, if something different, people warn me. Two newspapers may shut down completely.

I remain unimpressed. I remember when cities lost their morning or evening newspapers and continued to function. I remember when small towns lost their papers and everyone still seemed to know everything that was going on. No, the concern about the possible demise of local newspapers sounds an awful lot like the possible demise of banks or car manufacturers, and I expect that we’ll get through all of these events just fine.

Rick Green, of the Hartford Courant has an interview with Steve Collins, who is a reporter for one of the newspapers facing potential demise. Rick writes, “News blogs, which are popping up all over, aren't the answer, Collins said, because they can't possibly provide the breadth of a local paper.”

I appreciate Collins’ situation. He may be out of a job soon. Yet, I’m not sure that I agree that blogs can’t possible provide the breadth of a local paper. I’m not finding much in the local papers around here about the Woodbridge Board of Education meetings or the Woodbridge Democratic Town Committee meetings. With the exception of the videotaping of the Board of Education meetings for the government channel, I don’t believe there is anyone besides me reporting on these meetings. As to finding news about local births or high school sports scores, I’d much rather read the blog post by a grandmother whose daughter has just delivered a new grandchild or the father who has just seen his daughter win a swim meet.

Wordless Wednesday

Hard Cider Glass, originally uploaded by Aldon.