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A Dying Medium: Newspapers

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"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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On 7/2/2019 at 9:43 PM, jmecklenborg said:

The problem goes back to how the internet was completely "free" from the time it broke loose from CompuServe, Prodigy, and AOL, and narrowly escaped the stranglehold of Bill Gates. 

 

We now know that the world would probably be a better place right now if Microsoft had managed to control the entire internet in the way it controls operating systems.  Government would have been compelled from Day 1 to regulate it int the way the FCC regulates the airwaves, especially as it pertains to news and political messaging.  Microsoft was already the big, bad bully, whereas we were supposed to root on Yahoo and Google and Craigslist. 

 

None of us who started using Craigslist understood that it was the single-most damaging website of all.  It decimated classified advertising nationwide, which was the backbone of how print news was funded. 

This might be the single worst take I have seen on this website

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10 hours ago, KJP said:

 

 

The future for print journalism is going to be to move to a non-profit, NPR/PBS like model, but probably without the gov't support.

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2 hours ago, Cavalier Attitude said:

This might be the single worst take I have seen on this website

 

Pretty close. BTW, my former employer made a lot more money on display ads (new car ads, restaurant specials, local businesses, consumer ads, etc)  than classified ads. It's why the display ads were laid out in the mock-ups first, then the news filled the gaps in between. In fact, my job and those of my reporter colleagues was to fill the "news hole" in the paper.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Even setting aside the whole thing about classified ads (which as you said KJP is a relatively minor thing)...

 

I am very firmly for an open internet. When it comes down to it that might be one of my very top issues. Of course there has always been a tug of war between corporate control over the internet (the "walled garden" model) and the "Wild West". AOL was basically the first attempt at that, and it wasn't a very good product. Nowadays the FAANG companies are trying to force everyone back into a walled garden, and it's sort of working, because they couple the devices (phones/tablets), distribution (app store), and content.

 

I guarantee that the internet would be much worse then and now if we gave Microsoft or whoever else a monopoly over it, not that it would be legal in the first place (remember MS got got for bundling IE with Windows).

 

Print journalism and local journalism are dying for a variety of reasons. Yes part of that is technology. Part of it is that they were way too slow to adapt. Part of it is these giant corporations and private equity swallowing up small papers. And many other reasons. Craigslist not so much.

 

Also, personally I believe advertising is a cancer on society. The fewer ads we have, the better. Most print journalism was filled with it, and cable TV is still 1/3 ads despite the ridiculous subscription costs. I do honestly think that is a partial reason for those declining forms of media. Journalism will need to adapt and find alternative revenue sources.

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