Newspapers

Michael Wolff: Papers should die

Michael Wolff continues his ongoing rant about newspapers at Newser, arguing that most papers have surrendered their niche anyway and that better means of doing their job are readily available.

The idea that newspapers exist now as watchdogs talking truth to power is roll-on-the-floor funny.

Take away the top three or four papers in the country (the Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and, occasionally, the LA Times), and what you’ve got left is a collection of mostly chain-owed papers that have systematically cut back on all aspects of coverage and pay their reporters like bank tellers. They don’t do international or national, and barely do local. The Chicago Tribune still has almost 500 people in its newsroom—and for what?

Who will do investigative journalism, is the plaintive cry, as if that’s what papers are dying to do. My friend Randall Rothenberg, who runs the Interactive Advertising Bureau, and who was a long-time reporter at the New York Times, points out that for all the praise the beleaguered Boston Globe got for its investigation of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, the better question is where was the Globe for the 40 years this abuse was going on.

Speaking of: And the trades are barely covering Cannes, Mark Lacter notices.


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