All The News That’s Print To Fit

October 21, 2008

Newspapers, for the most part, still enjoy the legitimacy they earned when they were one of the only, and perhaps the only, source of news/information for an area. Not much, perhaps some more than others, but some legitimacy. I think much of it is undeserved.

Today, newspapers appear to be nothing more than local police blotters sprinkled with feeds from AP, Reuters and/or McClatchy upon whose names some local reporter might put their by-line because they “contributed” to the article by adding some “local connection.”

Our local radio and television news reports tend to be regurgitation based on the consumption of our “newspaper of record” (The Arizona Republic). One radio station literally reads the newspaper as part of its reporting to their listeners (morning drive-time talk-news show).

However, when the non-local stories appear 2-4 days after I’ve read about them on the Internet, something is wrong. When a local editor says that readers like the newspaper, because the paper decides what’s important to them (!!), something is wrong. When “news” reporting has a slant so noticeable that you’d swear you were reading the editorial page, something is wrong.

At least blogs tend to be open about any bias they might have. That’s one of the reasons I like them, and the Internet.