I love newspapers. Yes, I know that I’m kind of biased being that I’ve spent a significant chunk of my life working for newspapers, but that makes it no less true. It’s not that I love news”paper”, I love the idea of a great newspaper. I love what newspapers can do for the truth, I love how they can support their communities.
Getting you name or photo in the paper is still a big deal – even as the newspaper business is crumbling and falling apart at the seams. Newspapers help to define who and what matters in our community wether that community is a neighborhood, a city, a country or even the world.
Jen and I watched the movie State of Play today, which is very similar to All the President’s Men in that it is all about uncovering some big government conspiracy by newspaper writers. It’s complete fiction, but it gets at the core of what a great newspaper can do. A great newspaper can make the biggest and most fierce politician quake.
I know all of this is idealist banter and there are probably better arguments for why newspapers need to be supported, still I can’t help but feel saddened at the gradual decline journalism. The argument has been made that in our current environment Woodward and Bernstein wouldn’t have been able to do the work they did – and we would be worse for it. We just don’t see great journalism as much. It’s like all journalism is about clicks and not about important stories – nevermind the rise of tabloid entertainment journalism.
All that being said, I still love newspapers and I hope that they exist for the rest of my lifetime.