RealClearPolitics Media Watch

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Barbarians at the Gate

Just when was the dawn of the Internet age? It was earlier than you think. And the newspapers, as was pointed out in a previous post, they were really early adapters.

Check out this vintage video from a San Francisco newscast in 1981.

The anchor's parting shot seemed cute at the time, but it was that kind of complacency - or an underestimation of the power of the Internet - that put the newspapers in the bind they're in today.

During lunch yesterday with an editor of the besieged L.A. Times, we mused over just how newspapers lost their power over the readers. One thing was clear: Back in the day when the AP and other news wires were only available to the editors in newsrooms, the print media were the kingmaker. When the masses started getting their own wire reports from portals such as Yahoo!, Google and AOL over the Internet, the genie simply left the bottle for good.