The media, especially newspapers, are in trouble. Conservatives like myself have been relentless in attacking their collective bias over the years, but as more of them fold or reduce staff, it is crucial the institution be saved.
In an age when fewer schoolchildren are taught civics, it is useful to recall that the press is the only profession mentioned in the
The Founders were aware of newspapers' tendency to print inaccurate, even outrageous, stories, but as
Newspapers then -- and one could argue since, along with modern television -- have been full of factual errors, innuendo and slanted coverage (check out the corrections section of
In a lengthy Vanity Fair article titled "Can the News Industry Survive Coronavirus,"
Smith writes, "Abandon most for-profit local newspapers whose business model no longer works, and move as fast as possible to a national network of nimble new online newsrooms."
Financial subsidies are only a partial solution, like quitting smoking but refusing treatment when diagnosed with lung cancer. The real problem for the major media is the perception that their reporters are biased. It doesn't matter how many times they deny their biases or the frequency with which it's pointed out to them, especially by conservative organizations. The point is that as in any business if customers aren't buying your product, denying the reason why only prolongs your company's downfall.
A 2018 Columbia Journalism Review story reported on a Knight Foundation-
Among the solutions would be for the major media to address the perceived bias by including more conservatives and serious religious people on their staffs as part of "diversity" campaigns. No industry that ignores the concerns of large numbers of the public can long endure.
It is vital to a free society, as the Founders believed, that a vibrant, free and, yes, responsible press endure, but the media can only save itself. That salvation will come, if it comes at all, not through financial aid alone, or even mainly, but by media owners coming to their senses and honestly addressing the concerns of people who no longer believe their message.