By Dan Gainor, Fox Forum

 


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Once newspapers were the answer to the riddle: “What is black and white and read all over?” They’re no longer just black and white, but they are red all over. Red ink spills off nearly every page onto balance sheets across America.

The newspaper business is bleeding to death. Hidden amidst the other obits at the back of the Metro section should be “R.I.P. American Newspapers b. 1690 d. Soon – from self-inflicted wounds.” McClatchy Co. just reported a $21.7 million loss for the fourth quarter. Time magazine is leading with a look at the industry called: “How to Save Your Newspaper.” On Feb. 15, the Baltimore Examiner becomes the latest sad casualty of an industry racing headlong to its death.

It is not something to celebrate. For all of its many faults, the news industry is essential to our democracy and newspapers have been the best and most comprehensive examples of journalism for 300 years. But it is a death brought on by hubris and incompetence on the part of too many in the news media –- from top to bottom. Now the rest of us might end up paying for it.

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Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk (Creative Commons)



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