Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 12, 2013 / 6 Elul, 5773

The news isn't free

By Robert J. Samuelson




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When I was a young reporter in the 1970s, one of my assignments was covering the troubled U.S. steel industry, which was taking a beating from new technologies (so-called "mini-mills"), cheap imports and outdated union work rules. Thousands of steelworkers lost their jobs. Steel-making was then considered the backbone of an advanced economy. It symbolized a nation's power and technological stature. To the men who worked the mills, the vulnerability of American steel makers was entirely unexpected and, in many ways, incomprehensible. I never imagined then -- I doubt anyone did -- that newspaper reporters and editors would become the steelworkers of the 21st century.

We are being overwhelmed by technological changes that we cannot control. Newspapers are being eclipsed as major social, economic and political institutions. The latest evidence of this is the sudden sale of The Washington Post, controlled by the Graham family since 1933, to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, for $250 million. There's a transfer of status, prestige and power from the old to the new. Steel's fate, its fall from industrial pre-eminence, is shared by newspapers.

This is hardly a secret. Newsrooms have become job graveyards. Employment, which peaked near 60,000, has dropped below 40,000 and is falling, reports the Pew Research Center. The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Oregonian and Chicago Sun-Times recently announced layoffs. Our audiences and advertisers have fled to the Web or simply left. Newspapers' revenues from print advertising have declined from $44.9 billion in 2003 to $18.9 billion in 2012, says Pew. Online revenues haven't filled the gap. In 2012, they were $3.4 billion, about triple their 2003 level.


I watched uneasily as the Post mirrored these trends. You can't sustain continuous large annual losses in print advertising revenue and daily circulation (down 14 percent and 8 percent, respectively, in 2012) and maintain a viable business. Still, the reckoning came earlier than expected. When someone emailed me news of the Bezos sale, my first reaction was: hoax. It was inconceivable that Don Graham, a fierce believer in the worth of independent journalism and (incidentally) a friend since college, would sell. Promoting and protecting the Post is who he is.

More selfishly, writing for the Post is who I am. I started as a Post reporter in 1969. My column has run in the paper since 1977, although I physically worked at magazines, mostly Newsweek. I returned to the Post newsroom in 2011 after the Post company sold Newsweek. Under the Grahams, journalism is more than a job; it's a mission in truth-telling. This feeling is admittedly self-important and pretentious. Still, it's real and now feels threatened.

I concede, I'm a dinosaur. I've got three manual typewriters at home awaiting the Internet's collapse, which I would celebrate. I dislike it -- and not just because it's killing newspapers. As I've written before, it creates societal vulnerabilities (cyberattacks on crucial infrastructure, privacy invasions by business or government) that may outweigh its benefits, many of which -- tweeting! -- strike me as frivolous. Although this is a serious issue, you can't argue with success, or failure. On its surveys, Pew asks respondents where they got their news the day before. In 2012, 39 percent answered the Web, including social media, up sharply from 2004's 24 percent, the earliest data. Meanwhile, only 29 percent answered newspapers in 2012, down from 47 percent in 2000.

By these trend lines, the physical newspaper, which is still the industry's main revenue source, is headed for history's dustbin or, if not that, to boutique status. Forbes puts Bezos' net worth at $25 billion. Graham argues that only someone like Bezos has the wealth, patience, technological aptitude and regard for newspapers' importance to guide the Post from its storied past to a successful future. I confess that this argument initially seemed weak until my 26-year-old son called to see how I was holding up. Though commiserating with me, his message was: Hey, this could be good for the Post.

For years, the Post enjoyed a quasi-monopoly of largely captive readers and advertisers. Now it faces the Internet's Darwinian hyper-competition. In text and video come torrents of news, information, analysis, advocacy, comedy and criticism. People do not lack for things to read, but the quality is spotty and often unreliable. Good journalism, though hardly perfect, strives to discredit misinformation and half-truths. Papers such as the Post contribute to a free society by undertaking the expensive reporting that others won't -- and which informs us of who we are.

But it's not free. It rests on editorial independence -- the ability to pursue stories no matter how inconvenient -- and commercial success. Someone has to pay the bills. Bezos' task is to respect editorial independence and restore its economic base. He has defied naysayers before. Maybe he will again. Good luck.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Robert J. Samuelson's column by clicking here.



08/08/13: ObamaCare has already caused health care cost growth to slow?
08/25/11: Inflation is the answer?
08/09/11: The big danger is Europe
07/27/11: Why are we in this debt fix? It's the elderly, stupid
07/25/11: Postwar Pillars Of Capitalism Are Crumbling
01/27/11: How Obama's speech muddied the budget debate
01/24/11: China's new world order demands stronger U.S. response
10/18/10: What's left in the Fed's toolbox?
10/11/10: The Age of Austerity
09/20/10: The ritual of sound-bite economics
08/09/10: America's parent trap
08/02/10: Hope for our energy future
07/29/10: Why CEOs aren't hiring
06/07/10: Duped by success
05/31/10: Why Obama's poverty rate measure misleads
05/17/10: Wake up, America
03/22/10: The maestro's misconceptions
03/15/10: Obama's illusions of cost-control
01/14/10: In the aftermath of the Great Recession
12/29/09: Democracy's demolition derby
11/30/09: Bipartisan threats against the institution that saved America from depression
09/14/09: Give It to Us Straight
09/07/09: Bad Future for Jobs?
08/24/09: A Rail Boondoggle, Moving at High
08/10/09: Championing the Status Quo
08/03/09: We'll remain in denial, prisoners of wishful thinking, until the fateful reckoning arrives in the unimagined future
07/27/09: Obama's misleading medicine
07/13/09: Americans' self-indulgence hurts us
07/06/09: Economists out to lunch
06/29/09: Panics ‘R’ Us!
06/08/09: Flirting with deflation or inflation? Now the economy might be at risk of both
05/25/09: A ‘crisis’ America needs
05/18/09: Will somebody finally say that Obama is irresponsibly mortgaging our future?
05/04/09: The Bias Against Oil And Gas
04/27/09: Environmentalists maximize the dangers of global warming while pretending we can conquer it at virtually no cost
04/20/09: Our Depression Obsession
03/23/09: Geithner treads a line between financial paralysis and populist resentment
03/23/09: American Capitalism Besieged
01/06/09: The limits of pump priming
12/29/08: Humbled By Our Ignorance
07/31/08: The homeownership obsession
07/24/08: A Depression? Hardly
07/17/08: Why isn't globalization making the interconnected world more stable?



© 2009, WPWG

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles