RealClearPolitics Media Watch

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Heading for the Cliff with Blinders On

Sometimes I just don't get newspaper journalists, my onetime comrades-in-arms. With doom and gloom all over the newspaper business, many of them can't seem to see the big picture. Most often, they'd blame the impending demise of the papers on either corporate ownership or the Internet.

Here's latest example. Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Paul Mulshine of the Newark Star-Ledger thundered:

So if you want a car or a job, go to the Internet. But don't expect that Web site to hire somebody to sit through town-council meetings and explain to you why your taxes will be going up. Soon, newspapers won't be able to do it either.

Has it ever occurred to him that the web and the survival of newspapers need not be mutually exclusive?

For newspapers to stave off elimination, they need to start seeing the web as an ally, not an enemy. You can still practice journalism on the web, but you can't practice journalism when you're unemployed. What newspapers are facing now is mostly a technical issue, not one of their relevance. People still need journalists to do their jobs, they just don't necessarily need their news in the form of printed paper thrown at their doorsteps.

Glenn Reynolds and Will Leitch don't pretend to be - and they'll never replace - journalists. But instead of spending countless time bashing them, journalists need to open their eyes, and minds, to survive the Internet Age.