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"Who will do investigative journalism???", demand the newspaper purists, under the apparent delusion that you need newsprint to conduct an investigation.

COLUMBIA, MO . — Investigations that exposed local government corruption from New Orleans to Detroit, human-rights abuses by the federal government and international organized crime are among the work honored in the 2008 Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards.

This year's top prize, the IRE Medal, was given to WWL-TV in New Orleans for its dogged rolling investigation of a city-run housing nonprofit that falsely claimed to have fixed homes in desperate need of repair after Hurricane Katrina, and the contractors who pocketed the money without doing the work. Through compelling story telling, the station tackled a serious issue that had received little attention and did so in the face of immense political pressure.

The awards also recognized stories that captured the nation's attention, including the Detroit Free Press's expose on the mayor's electronic messages, and those that tackled issues of international importance, such as McClatchy Newspapers's series on the Guantanamo Bay detention facility.

This year's winners include collaborations among news organizations and work from nontraditional newsrooms: the online-only voiceofsandiego.org, the coalition of journalists who formed the Chauncey Bailey Project, and the Center for Public Integrity and The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which won the Renner crime award for detailing global organized crime in tobacco smuggling. Project winners fought court battles to examine text messages and email correspondence sent by government officials and examined cyber-warfare that exposed online security problems at federal agencies, including the Pentagon.

Looking at the full list shows that investigative reporting is happening at newspapers, yes, but also at TV stations (which got the top prize), public interest groups, and online publications like Voice of San Diego:

San Diego, California, March 31, 2009 -- The pioneering nonprofit online daily voiceofsandiego.org captured one of investigative journalism's most prestigious awards today for its year-long efforts exposing hidden bonuses and undisclosed conflicts of interest at two public redevelopment agencies.

When papers say, "if we're gone, who will keep government honest?", the answer is, every other media outlet that covers city, state and the federal government. There is nothing inherently inky about investigative journalism. Whether it's TPM, or HuffPo, or The Nation, or ProPublica, or the Center for Independent media, or local news sites like MinnPost and Voice of San Diego, or crowd-sourced citizen journalist outfits like A Better Oakland, someone will fill the void.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:32 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Blogging For Michigan.... (11+ / 0-)

    The owner of that blog brought down a corrupt Sheriff through her outstanding investigative skills.  Not one local newspaper in the area was able to do that.

    This is my sig line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

    by djtyg on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:34:07 PM PDT

  •  Obviously not only newspapers (18+ / 0-)

    do investigative journalism. I just prefer to have my journalism done by people who have been trained as journalists, and actually get paid to do it. Oh, and have editors who check that what they report is true.

    •  Would that the NYT always had them. (13+ / 0-)

      See Judith Miller, Jayson Blair ...

      But I'm going to agree with you on the main point -- journalism is a discipline, and there aren't yet enough independent folks who do it to replace the mainstream media.  Regardless of who's doing it, we have to find a way to fund it.  Good content costs (and is worth) money.

    •  Yes, Not JUST Newspapers (9+ / 0-)

      A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

      by JekyllnHyde on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:51:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I Welcome Every Source And Scribe To Illuminate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jmart
        What there is to know.
        Just hope enough people are able and willing to read and seek what useful truth comes around.
        Newspapers aint what they was, and many have pawned their better traditional values.
        But if there's no hunger for information in you, some awareness will be slow in dawning.

        Republicans turned Freedom into Greedom.

        by renzo capetti on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 04:51:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not to mention the resources. (13+ / 0-)

      Hearing that it took a million dollars to investigate the Catholic church priest scandal kind of added some perspective on the issue for me.

      Provided resources are managed efficiently and with persistent dedication, I don't see many blogs capable of anything similar.

      I'm staying skeptical on the issue because I know the big journalistic institutions have come to deserve much of the criticism they get, but I still see a great deal of value in having them around.

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

      by big dave on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:59:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now, and later... (0+ / 0-)

        Model Ts weren't very impressive cars.  You had to go up steep hills in reverse as they had no fuel pumps

        Early digital cameras made nice little prints, but they weren't up to the job of filling up a decent sized print.

        We're in the early stages of a technological shift.  If investigative journalism has value (which I think most of us would agree that it does) a way to fund it will emerge.  

        We're seeing the first moves as this site, TMP, Huffington and others add investigative staff.  Other models will likely emerge.

        Those sites which start to deliver the bacon will be able to command good ad rates just as better news magazines were able to charge more for page space.

        15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

        by BobTrips on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 03:59:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I may not be very popular for saying this - (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aexia, jmart, PBnJ, BobTrips, stegro

          But all of your examples are partisan.  They're my kind of partisan, yes, but partisan nonetheless.

          In my opinion, it would be unfortunate to see the next era of investigative journalism emerge from within a partisan framework.

          I guess what I'm saying is that part of what I consider "value" is the kind of widely-accepted objectivity that cuts across political lines.  

          Yes the sites you cite are adding investigative staff, but it makes it awfully easy to question veracity if the next era of investigative journalism evolves from a partisan starting point.

          It's this reputational loss which concerns me.  I could care less whether it comes in a paper thrown at my door from a model T or gets photon'd directly into my brain from newly colonized neptune.  

          But I haven't actually thought about the issue like this before, so I'm keeping my mind open.  Open, waiting for Arianna's information photons.

          "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

          by big dave on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 05:07:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, those are left-leaning... (0+ / 0-)

            I would expect right-leaning sites to emerge as well, just as we have left- and right-leaning papers and magazines.  The right-leaning sites might even get established quicker via corporate money.

            Reputations will be built and lost over time as sites proceed.  

            The more open-minded of us will take our information from a broad sample of sites.  If our side is talking trash it will be challenged.

            (I'd be happy to see some right-leaning sites investigate the hell out of left-leaning office holders. We really can't trust ourselves to police ourselves and we could easily go down the wrong path as did the Republican Party during the last few years.)  

            15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

            by BobTrips on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 05:48:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Some newspapers have editors that edit out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gsenski

      what is true to protect their advertising income stream.

      •  And some blogs post outright lies (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        big dave, casperr

        What's your point?

        Like the strawman that "print is necessary to investigate" -- an argument that no one with half a brain is making -- people who try to pit one medium against another are rearranging deck chairs while the boat goes down.

        What we need is journalism, not newspapers. The problem is, comprehensive journalism requires a significant investment of time and, yes, money. For generations, newspapers happened to be the primary mechanism for that. They're dying, and saying "something" will "eventually" emerge to replace them doesn't reassure me all that much.

        That one blogger took down one corrupt sherrif is nice, and more power to her for that. But in my home town, the Kansas City Star provides primary coverage of two state capitals, five metropolitan counties, more than a dozen major school districts and at least 10 major municipalities with multi-million-doillar budgets. Not even the major blogs like Daily Kos or TPM have the resources to replicate that, and that's just one middle-level market.

        An essential piece of the fabric of our democracy and our society is withering, and some people on this site -- including, sadly, the founder -- are celebrating simply because they think that will take the David Broders and Thomas Freidmans of the world down a peg.

        Get a grip. The Broders and Friedmans and MoDos will survive; their kind always does. It's the good journalism that will die, and we'll be the poorer for it.

        But don't let me spoil your party.

        We now resume our regularly scheduled country

        by jmart on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 05:29:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  NOLA Blogger (0+ / 0-)

          It was a blogger, Karen ?Gadbois of Save Our Heritage who pointed the way for WWL on the housing story.  Also, all the levee and Army Corp of Engineers information is leaking from the NOLA blogging community.  

      •  Truth (0+ / 0-)

        Where did you get this theory, Science Fiction Theater? Where are your sources for this? Is it fun living under this delusion? Newspaper editors NEVER edit for advertising income. That is the fact you may have been searching for.

    •  Learn about newspapers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jmart, casperr

      Kos should learn more about newspapers before declaring them useless. He should spend a week at the SF Chronicle to see how the operation works. It's easy to give credit to a TV station or blog because they get recognized for a story they do. But newspapers do this every day. But since they don't publish rumors and confirm their stories, they don't break big exposes every day.

  •  Who pissed kos off at the conference? (10+ / 0-)

    Must have been pretty bad.

    How many more of these is he gonna post?

    (-5.12,-2.10): Left Libertarian http://www.politicalcompass.org/index

    by smileyman on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:39:48 PM PDT

    •  He cares. We all should. nt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phil S 33, BobTrips, uc booker

      "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

      by Skid on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:41:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  he cares about what? (8+ / 0-)

        This week he's posted diary after diary bashing the newspaper industry. Seems to me that someone got under his skin at the conference, because since he's been back he's been on a tear.

        (-5.12,-2.10): Left Libertarian http://www.politicalcompass.org/index

        by smileyman on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:45:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Did you read his posts? I found his point. nt (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kilgore2345, jayden, uc booker

          "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

          by Skid on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:48:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Are you missing mine? (8+ / 0-)

            I'm not disagreeing that newspapers have a dying business model (not unlike the music industry).

            I'm just curious as to why this is suddenly a topic of priority, and am wondering who it was that pissed kos off so much at the conference.

            (-5.12,-2.10): Left Libertarian http://www.politicalcompass.org/index

            by smileyman on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:50:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thats why I asked if you read them. (0+ / 0-)

              Wasn't being testy, just stating that having read them, I understand why. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

              "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

              by Skid on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:53:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  it's been a hot topic of late (9+ / 0-)

              You may enjoy Clay Shirky's essay:

              Elizabeth Eisenstein’s magisterial treatment of Gutenberg’s invention, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change, opens with a recounting of her research into the early history of the printing press. She was able to find many descriptions of life in the early 1400s, the era before movable type. Literacy was limited, the Catholic Church was the pan-European political force, Mass was in Latin, and the average book was the Bible. She was also able to find endless descriptions of life in the late 1500s, after Gutenberg’s invention had started to spread. Literacy was on the rise, as were books written in contemporary languages, Copernicus had published his epochal work on astronomy, and Martin Luther’s use of the press to reform the Church was upending both religious and political stability.

              What Eisenstein focused on, though, was how many historians ignored the transition from one era to the other. To describe the world before or after the spread of print was child’s play; those dates were safely distanced from upheaval. But what was happening in 1500? The hard question Eisenstein’s book asks is "How did we get from the world before the printing press to the world after it? What was the revolution itself like?"

              Chaotic, as it turns out. The Bible was translated into local languages; was this an educational boon or the work of the devil? Erotic novels appeared, prompting the same set of questions. Copies of Aristotle and Galen circulated widely, but direct encounter with the relevant texts revealed that the two sources clashed, tarnishing faith in the Ancients. As novelty spread, old institutions seemed exhausted while new ones seemed untrustworthy; as a result, people almost literally didn’t know what to think. If you can’t trust Aristotle, who can you trust?

              During the wrenching transition to print, experiments were only revealed in retrospect to be turning points. Aldus Manutius, the Venetian printer and publisher, invented the smaller octavo volume along with italic type. What seemed like a minor change — take a book and shrink it — was in retrospect a key innovation in the democratization of the printed word. As books became cheaper, more portable, and therefore more desirable, they expanded the market for all publishers, heightening the value of literacy still further.

              That is what real revolutions are like. The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place. The importance of any given experiment isn’t apparent at the moment it appears; big changes stall, small changes spread. Even the revolutionaries can’t predict what will happen. Agreements on all sides that core institutions must be protected are rendered meaningless by the very people doing the agreeing. (Luther and the Church both insisted, for years, that whatever else happened, no one was talking about a schism.) Ancient social bargains, once disrupted, can neither be mended nor quickly replaced, since any such bargain takes decades to solidify.

              And so it is today.

              •  Thank you (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jmart, Adam B, gsenski, Mudderway, ktward

                That was an interesting read. I thought this was a particularly telling point:

                Society doesn’t need newspapers. What we need is journalism.

                This is the crux of the matter. Can investigative journalism survive without papers? I think so. (Just like music is still being made while CDs are dying). What we can't tell is what business model that will take.

                (-5.12,-2.10): Left Libertarian http://www.politicalcompass.org/index

                by smileyman on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:06:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  the bonus round speech (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Randy, jmart, blonde moment, Phil S 33

                  Steven Berlin Johnson, SxSW 2009:

                  To use that ecosystem metaphor: the state of Mac news in 1987 was a barren desert. Today, it is a thriving rain forest. By almost every important standard, the state of Mac news has vastly improved since 1987: there is more volume, diversity, timeliness, and depth.

                  I think that steady transformation from desert to jungle may be the single most important trend we should be looking at when we talk about the future of news. Not the future of the news industry, or the print newspaper business: the future of news itself. Because there are really two worst case scenarios that we’re concerned about right now, and it's important to distinguish between them. There is panic that newspapers are going to disappear as businesses. And then there’s panic that crucial information is going to disappear with them, that we’re going to suffer as culture because newspapers will no long be able to afford to generate the information we’ve relied on for so many years.

                  When you hear people sound alarms about the future of news, they often gravitate to two key endangered species: war reporters and investigative journalists. Will the bloggers get out of their pajamas and head up the Baghdad bureau? Will they do the kind of relentless shoe-leather detective work that made Woodward and Bernstein household names? These are genuinely important questions, and I think we have good reason to be optimistic about their answers. But you can’t see the reasons for that optimism by looking at the current state of investigative journalism in the blogosphere, because the new ecosystem of investigative journalism is in its infancy. There are dozens of interesting projects being spearheaded by very smart people, some of them nonprofits, some for-profit. But they are seedlings.

                  I think it’s much more instructive to anticipate the future of investigative journalism by looking at the past of technology journalism. When ecologists go into the field to research natural ecosystems, they seek out the old-growth forests, the places where nature has had the longest amount of time to evolve and diversify and interconnect. They don’t study the Brazilian rain forest by looking at a field that was clear cut two years ago.

                  That’s why the ecosystem of technology news is so crucial. It is the old-growth forest of the web. It is the sub-genre of news that has had the longest time to evolve. The Web doesn’t have some kind intrinsic aptitude for covering technology better than other fields. It just has an intrinsic tendency to cover technology first, because the first people that used the web were far more interested in technology than they were in, say, school board meetings or the NFL. But that has changed, and is continuing to change. The transformation from the desert of Macworld to the rich diversity of today’s tech coverage is happening in all areas of news. Like William Gibson’s future, it’s just not evenly distributed yet....

        •  Bashing the newspaper business... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jmart, Mudderway

          Or creating discussion about how we replace the investigative role that newspapers used to play?

          15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

          by BobTrips on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:54:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  i was wondering the same exact thing (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim J, ChurchofBruce, poorwriter, ktward

      I guess he didn't get the respect he feels is his due.  Actually if he is that is ridiculous because I bet not a single editor, journalist or newspaper person could even function without their backup of publishers, editors, proof readers, copyreaders etc. let alone put themselves out there to compete on their own words in cyberspace.

      Although I am an total pro-newspaper person and have been a documentary producer/journalist/reseracher all my life in print, radio and televisioi am in awe of people like Kos, although there really isn't anyone quite like Kos who have achieved what he has achieved.

      He is already the eminent grise of the blogging world, the example others use to express the influence bogs can have, especialluy the MSM who have all by now copied his model.

      And I am one of his sternest critics. But he made history. What's his problem with newspapers? have no idea.  He is sounding like Rodney Dangerfield on the subject the last few days.

      •  I read it differently... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gsenski

        I think Kos came away a bit disturbed by the observation that the newspaper powers weren't looking at ways to morph their main functions into a modern form, but were bitching and moaning about how the world was passing them by.

        Just think, major papers could have sites as successful as this one had they brought their readership into the process some time back.  

        Instead they are looking for ways to slap down the future so that they can continue to profit from the past.

        15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

        by BobTrips on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 04:07:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Josh Marshall did it first (0+ / 0-)

        Just sayin'

        We now resume our regularly scheduled country

        by jmart on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 05:37:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Filling the void... (9+ / 0-)

    The only problem is that those that don't look through the various web-media are less likely to stumble upon the "investigative journalism" as they were to when it was/could've been in the newspaper they subscribed to and read everyday as part of their old, dying ritual day-to-day.
    They won't find it so much on television "news".
    Its a whole new paradigm to many still.

    "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

    by Skid on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:40:25 PM PDT

  •  What about people insulating themselves? (6+ / 0-)

    What about the potential problem of people locking themselves into virtual cocoons on the internet, where they only look at the news that they want to?  At least if you're reading a newspaper those stories are there for you to read right in front of your face.

    And if someone is just going to "fill the void," why are you so happy about newspapers taking the fall, kos?  What difference is there if, like you're saying, both can do equally good investigative reporting?

    •  False choice (4+ / 0-)

      newspapers already make the decision as to what stories they print. In effect, they're doing the filtering for you. Me, I'd rather be able to choose what stories I want to read about, rather than rely on the paper to tell me what stories are important.

      (-5.12,-2.10): Left Libertarian http://www.politicalcompass.org/index

      by smileyman on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:51:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I guess I'm just fearful, honestly (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aexia, jmart, poorwriter, Mudderway

        I'm fearful of the transition period between newspapers and whatever will replace them and whether the replacement will be as good as newspapers (even though newspapers aren't great).  This is something we should be carefully considering, not celebrating, IMHO.

        •  Perhaps the first to go... (0+ / 0-)

          Will be the dailies.  Too much paper.

          Perhaps a few less-frequent weekly/monthly publications will fill the investigative gap until the web gets up to speed.

          It's hard to see how paper figures into the future of information distribution.

          15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

          by BobTrips on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 04:09:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Whether it is newspaper or a blog (0+ / 0-)

          it is still writing, and will be until the aforementioned photons are beamed directly into our brains from Neptune (and maybe even then). The professionalism of journalism includes not only integrity and intelligence but also such mundane components as spelling, grammar, and proofreading. (I am agreeing with your point, rossl.)

  •  Congrats Voice of San Diego! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skid, BobTrips, brushysage, rossl

    And next year I hope we'll see HuffPo on the list.  They recently added about ten journalists specifically for investigative work.

    dissent not only welcome... but encouraged

    by newfie53523 on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:41:30 PM PDT

  •  It's not like most newspapers have been doing (8+ / 0-)

    a whole lot of investigative journalism in the last eight years anyway, but NOW they want to.  Outside of a handful of journalists, newspapers mostly reprinted what the bigs printed and most of that was spoon-fed from Bushco.

    •  Yep, they investigate how to muddy up the truth.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aeolus, Cassandra Waites, akmk

      most the time, creatively searching for middle ground where there often isn't for a false sense of neutrality.

      "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

      by Skid on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:46:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh I don't know if you can really (6+ / 0-)

      say that.  There are hundreds - possibly thousands - of stories - most of which would be irrelevant to you or me personally - that are published that represent good investigative journalism and make a difference in people's lives.  The difference between investigative journalism and straight reporting is that it takes time to work through those kinds of stories.  Some people spend many months and even years putting together the pieces of a good in-depth story.  It requires time, resources in terms of infrastructure, money and focus.  And there are standards and ethics to which a good newsorganization will adhere which helps to create an aura of credibility that in the most damning stories is the difference between the story having an impact and not.

    •  True (0+ / 0-)

      Other than a handful of local stories my paper just reprints the AP wire stories.

      (-5.12,-2.10): Left Libertarian http://www.politicalcompass.org/index

      by smileyman on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:52:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's because... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aexia, CocoaLove, ktward

        ...newspaper management has driven the product into the ground for at least 30 years. Newspapers, particularly the ones publicly owned, have long been held to an incredibly unsustainable financial model -- yearly returns expected in the 20 percent (and even 30 percent!) range.

        There's only one way to keep that scheme going; continuous cutbacks that hollowed out newsrooms and hefty increases in ad prices that sent advertisers searching for other alternatives. That, in turn, decreased revenues, which led to etc., etc.

        I worked in one newsroom that had four buyouts in four years and then finally layoffs. Bad for morale and even worse for news coverage. Readers weren't stupid. They realized they were paying about $250/year for less and less content. The death spiral had begun, but owners didn't care -- they still had their precious 20 percent returns.

        Yeah, I'm an ink-stained wretch. Can't help it. I love newspapers. The internet has changed the business model. But it can't change news itself. I'm just hoping that news blogs will mature and offer the crucial local-news coverage that's so important: the city council meetings, the neighborhood issues, the interviews with regular folks. That's the glue that binds a community together. And if people want to comment, and criticize my stories, I'll just have to suck it up and deal.

        But the transition is painful, gotta tell ya.

        •  thank you (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Aexia, jmart, ktward

          The people who constantly bash newspapers, like kos, are in for a rude awakening when coverage devolves into a constant stream of unsubstantiated rumors and rhetoric disguised as fact. We saw enough of that during Bush-Cheney. There will be a new depth to hell if this happens at the local and state level.

          Newspapers aren't perfect, but the professionals do a darned good job of sorting through the bullshit to get to the facts. Believe me, there is a lot of vetting going on to find the truth in just about every story. I've had to sort out a lot of crap for more than three decades. It ain't easy.

          God help us all.

          -7.38, -5.23 I survived the Purple Tunnel of Doom, no thanks to DiFi. I will remember this, though. Ugh!

          by CocoaLove on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 05:01:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, please (0+ / 0-)

      Get your head our of Washington, D.C. -- and other dank places -- for five minutes. Most local papers never stopped doing the right stuff.

      Understand: The WaPo and the NYT will be the last to fall. Coverage of your state and local governments will be gone long before that.  

      We now resume our regularly scheduled country

      by jmart on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 05:42:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is like AOL... (13+ / 0-)

    ...saying, "who will provide access to the internet once we're gone!?!"

    Well, AOL, you overcharged, controlled content to an inhibiting degree, others provided faster and/or cheaper service, and quite frankly you didn't do a very good job of it in the first place.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:42:47 PM PDT

  •  Who investigates now? (8+ / 0-)

    The truly incredible thing is that there is virtually no investigative journalism in the US any more.  The "yellow" journalism of a century ago was criticized (and demonized) oftentimes for exposing corruption and worse.  Today there is virtually nothing.

    Living in Southern California for the past quarter century, I have watched newspapers in San Diego and Los Angeles bury stories of government corruption.

    The oddest thing in California, though, is that much of politics was in the Karl Rove spirit before Karl Rove existed.  Regularly, we are confronted by initiatives placed on the ballot to "combat corruption".  The reality is that it is corrupt forces that placed the initiatives on the ballot in the first place.

    The Los Angeles Times is shrinking almost monthly.  Yet the paper fears to cover corruption.  The press has become like those timid Democrats afraid that someone will criticize them.

    California has devolved into the most corrupt of the major states without even a peep being raised by these so-called watchdogs.

    •  I only get the LA Times for the coupons. Other (0+ / 0-)

      than that, I don't have much use for it.  I was pleased when they got rid of Michael Ramirez, but that is the only good thing they've done.

      Have you forgotten about jesus? Don't you think it's time that you did?

      by uc booker on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:01:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Newspapers = Buggy Whips, right? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    uc booker

    Isn't this a completely classic case of Buggy Whip manufacturers facing the advent of the automobile?  

    I mean, I can't hardly think of a more classic case than this.  Newspapers are so very 19th century, yes?

    :: Hopeful even still ::

    by Rick Aucoin on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:44:42 PM PDT

    •  I'd say 20th century, but hey... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rossl

      Anyway, I do think that newspapers are still very important, they might not be in 30 years or so, when all the "old" people who have real problems with computers die off (I'm not trying to sound crude, sorry and I'm not implying that all elderly people can't use the internet, but very many have real problems with it ), but at least until then newspapers are still very important imho.

      The Republican Party has become the Party of Dorothy Martin. -8.62/-8.46

      by Mudderway on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:46:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hilarious (8+ / 0-)

    if we're gone, who will keep government honest

    Like newspapers ever did, in the main. Ask George Seldes.

    Disillusioned, Seldes left the Tribune and went to work as a freelance writer. In his first two books, You Can't Print That! (1929) and Can These Things Be! (1931), Seldes included material that he had not been allowed to publish in the Tribune.

    ...On his return to the United States in 1940, Seldes published Witch Hunt, an account of the persecution of people with left-wing political views in America

    ...From 1940 to 1950, Seldes published a political newsletter, In fact, which at the height of its popularity had a circulation of 176,000. One of the first articles published in the newsletter concerned the link between cigarette smoking and cancer. Seldes later explained that at the time, "The tobacco stories were suppressed by every major newspaper.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:44:58 PM PDT

  •  If the newspapers where actually engaged in (5+ / 0-)

    investigative journalism over the last decade, they would be so easily shoved aside by new media.

    Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

    by lockewasright on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:45:11 PM PDT

  •  Who does investigative journalism now? (4+ / 0-)

    And why isn't all journalism "investigative" to the extent that it tries to find some actual verifiable evidence or read a single document, rather than the mindless repetition of competing sound-bite quotes?

    The best journalism nowadays, other than that done by the New York Times and smatterings here and there, is coming out of alternative sources, including the ground-breaking work that people like Josh Marshall and the FireDogLake teams have done. Where I live in a county of three million people, the only investigative journalism is done by the OC Weekly, as the LA Times abandoned the market and the Orange County Register got even stupider.

    Most American dailies are a steady diet of infotainment, carnage, sports, crime, and disasters.

    I'll keep subscribing to the New York Times, and would support a voiceofsandiego product, but let the rest of them die, including the neutered LA Times.

    No Real Housewives, but plenty of action at Orange County Progressive Come for the politics. Stay for dessert.

    by Aeolus on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:46:33 PM PDT

    •  The Oregonian, our paper (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx, uc booker, sallym

      just reprints AP, NY Times, LA Times, WaPo stories dealing with topics I'd already read about on-line or days before.  Other than local stories (that you can catch on tv) or sports scores, there's NOTHING close to what they charge for the paper.

      •  I just saw the Oregonian in a Diane Lane movie (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Molly M, xxdr zombiexx

        last night on HBO.  I got to read it when I was in Cannon Beach last January.  Pretty area of the country and hurting bad from the economy.

        Have you forgotten about jesus? Don't you think it's time that you did?

        by uc booker on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:57:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is a pretty part of the country (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          uc booker, sallym

          but we're faring about as bad/well as other parts of the country.  What movie?  Cannon Beach is a nugget on the Oregon Coast . . . not much work at the coast (logging and fishing), but a lot of the people there don't care too much and live pretty simply.

          •  "Untraceable" maybe? She played an FBI agent (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sallym

            trying to find a serial killer who was using the internets to kill his victims.  It was pretty good.  Colin Hanks was in it.  

            As for Cannon Beach, my friends go down there twice a year and I was up there this year, so they invited me to go along.  It was a beautiful room at the Hallmark (?). Anyway, we ate at one of the local eateries and the owner was a friend of my friends. She told us that four restaurants had closed over the holiday season.  She and her husband were thinking of doing the same.  It was dead out there.

            Have you forgotten about jesus? Don't you think it's time that you did?

            by uc booker on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:15:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  your paper just sells paper, actually. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jayden, uc booker

        America is about to learn that marijuana should never have been made illegal. @xxdr_zombiexx

        by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:57:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It was a joke right? (9+ / 0-)

    When papers say, "if we're gone, who will keep government honest?",

    And since when did they keep the government "HONEST" in the last 8 years?

    Seems they just rubber stamped Bush propaganda, even the NYTimes.

    Good riddence.

  •  Is there a site... (0+ / 0-)

    like "Voice of San Diego" in Chicago, or for that matter a does anyone have links for local Chicago blogs?  Thank you in advance.

  •  So.. the papers are catching on to why (7+ / 0-)

    they are dying out?

    Shouldn't have spent all those years kissing Bush-Cheney arse.

    Newspapers bear half the responsibility for those Bush still being free.

    Because they kissed his ass rather than do their job.

    Now it's a little goddamned late.

    Bush prosecutions headlines would sell papers, you dimwits.

    America is about to learn that marijuana should never have been made illegal. @xxdr_zombiexx

    by xxdr zombiexx on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:54:43 PM PDT

  •  I used to live in San Diego It is one of the most (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    timbuck

    corrupt cities I've ever seen.  Ask them about the Red Cross and the City Employees Retirement fund.  I can go on...

    Have you forgotten about jesus? Don't you think it's time that you did?

    by uc booker on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 01:55:57 PM PDT

  •  Well, you do need $$ to do many investigations (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, Joncleir, ktward

    even if not "newsprint" venue. If they involve lots of traveling, interviews, looking up real paper documents etc. But lots of work can be done data-mining what's available online, not all however ...

  •  Dear Kos, (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for being so outspoken about this. David Sirota, who lately I've found myself in agreement with on a number of things, attempted to make the argument a couple of weeks ago about print being the only vehicle for investigative journalism and although they've lost their way, because they once did good journalism, they're the only thing that can do good journalism in the future.

    It's absurd. Keep it coming.

  •  the printies (0+ / 0-)

    have never had any kind of juridictional claim to investigative reportorial exclusivity.  And thank god for that, since they do precious little of it from what I can see.  Head pats for examples of quaity work are all well and good, but, hey that's just doing your job isn't it?  No, let there be a multitude of voices and hundreds of sets of probing eyes.  And printies, get over youselves--it's been over a third of a century since Watergate and The Pentagon Papers.

  •  Kos vs. David Simon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Delirium, ktward

    As one who's genuinely conflicted, I'd like to see these two debate this issue.  

  •  Arrogant little buggers, aren't they? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Situational Lefty

    "You'll miss us when we're gone!!!!"

  •  I think the print people have a point (3+ / 0-)

    TeeVee can't fit the information of 60 column-inches between the commercial for sixpack ab machines and the one for the penis enlargment pill.

    Even programs like 60 Minutes have to get stories past their corporate masters. I hope my newspaper sticks around somehow and is able to keep paying their investigative journalists.

    My pissant temporal existence is better than the vast majority of the lives of most people on the planet. It's all about perspective.

    by SecondComing on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:20:55 PM PDT

  •  I don't see newspapers dying altogether (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, rossl

    What I do see is the death of the mega-corporate papers that try to be all things to all people all across the country (NYT, WaPo) -- but a return to the small community newspaper where you'll find coverage of what's going on at City Hall and in the local schools, and maybe a smattering of regional news that affects the community. It'll just be one piece of the puzzle, similar to the way local TV and radio stations cover local news, and the networks and cable news do national/world news.

    Hey Republicans -- GO GALT YOURSELF!!!

    by Cali Scribe on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:21:16 PM PDT

  •  It's rare that the major papers... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YucatanMan

    ...do any investigative journalism at all, unless it involves major political players; much like the Detroit Free Press and the Kilpatrick Text Scandal last year.  But do you ever see major investigations not having to do with government officials on the Front Page or A-1 of any of them?

    No.  They relegate it to the Metro/City section, to see what sticks.  Or at least, that's how I see it.

  •  OT-I need help with this conservative complaint (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Situational Lefty

    THey're whining that Obama is the first sitting President to go on a talk show. I don't think this is true.

    •  Talk shows (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Delirium

      Depends on how you define Talk Show (no, really, it does).

      As far as late night shows go, Obama was the first sitting President, though there have been VPs on late-night shows and of course many Presidential candidates.

      The Sunday morning political talk shows have hosted Presidents before.

      (-5.12,-2.10): Left Libertarian http://www.politicalcompass.org/index

      by smileyman on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:45:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nothing to complain about, just laugh at them. (0+ / 0-)

      First off, most presidents did not have "talk shows" during their term.

      Second, so what?  Do they want their president to be placed on an ivory tower?  All President Obama was doing was communicating with average Americans.  Good for him!

    •  They hate it that Obama connects so well to the (0+ / 0-)

      real people of the nation.

      Dang, why didn't they think of it first!

  •  Not Who Will Do - but Who Will Pay (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agatha X, ktward

    the cost of salaries, travel and expenses for investigative journalists and photojournalists and etc.

    Media is so advertising driven the very idea that it is independent is fairly ludicrous - even if it is subscriber driven the subscribers generally subscribe in order to get the news they want to hear - or they still buy the idea that some amount of information in the paper is objective. (Who got killed and when.)

    Newspapers had the luxury of covering some of their costs with subscriptions - electronic media is trying, but the web is an affinity group community - the only non-affinity groupings are news aggregators - and what do they pay to the journalist who does investigation?

  •  Ugh... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim J, ChurchofBruce, Addison, vcthree, ktward

    The thought of relying on the Huffington Post to keep the government honest makes me a little uneasy.

  •  MSM: Who Got False Military 'Cut' Meme Right? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djtyg
  •  In the case of the Dallas Morning News, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djtyg

    no one has done investigative journalism for the past 20 years.

    Sure, they have the titilation pieces like child molesters (priests, check), and a crooked business deal here and there, but they neglect nearly every single large story until months or years after the low rent weekly has already exposed it.

    Scandalous Trinity River Project (public funds going to put a tollway in a river bed to jack up the value of already wealthy folks' investments in real estate) coverage has been nothing but cheerleading.

    It is a joke.  The Dallas Morning News might as well fold. There's been no solid public advocacy about city government and those who run the city (wealthy who live in Highland Park and aren't even Dallas residents) for many years.   And the editorial board is ... a long ways short of concise and hard-hitting. More like "lapdog."

    And then, don't get me started on Steve Blow (yes, that's really his name).   When the mayor of Dallas was caught in a major political lie, Steve Blow's insight was, "Well, I never thought he really meant it when he lied, therefore, it doesn't matter that he lied." WOW.... just pure rubbish from start to finish.

    droogie6655321 lives!

    by YucatanMan on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:31:38 PM PDT

  •  And what did traditional media do (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djtyg

    in the march to war?  Nothing.  They assisted it anyway they could with nary a critical voice.

    America needs a shake-up in its media.  

  •  You don't need newsprint, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Delirium

    a lot of fulltime salaries from the blog world would help. I know we are moving in that direction and that we also have great strength based on numbers and global dispersion, but I do think it is important to find ways to pay more salaries so that people have the time to pursue the details and thew tough to dig out stories.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:39:42 PM PDT

  •  If newspapers disappear, Bozell wins. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

    by ticket punch on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:40:29 PM PDT

  •  How much investigation . . . (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, SecondComing, poorwriter, ktward

    is required to report that slum lords aren't doing promised repairs?  Investigation suggests effort beyond just documenting what people are more than willing to show and tell.  Perhaps it is an investigation of a sort, but there are stories out there that people are not eager to tell and which are not easily photographed.  

    These stories take more time and effort.  And sometimes, they don't pan out.  And the people who put in the hours on them need to be paid.  Traditionally newspapers employed more people who did this sort of digging.  Ultimately, it doesn't matter that much who employs the reporter--so long as he remains independent--but someone needs to.  And it is not yet apparent that enough outlets are going to be able to supply the deficiency created by the demise of newspapers.  

    I'm not overly concerned.  I think the deficiency will ultimately be filled, but you ought not pretend the problem doesn't exist.

    Terry McAuliffe will never, ever be governor of Virginia.

    by Agatha X on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:42:38 PM PDT

  •  I didn't realize dKos was anti-newspapers... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim J, Aexia, CocoaLove, Mudderway

    that's a disappointment.

    "...America can change. Our union can be perfected." President-Elect Barack Obama

    by Jack Dublin on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:42:58 PM PDT

  •  I know I'll regret this. (6+ / 0-)

    At the risk of inflaming the infamous ire of kos commenters, with all due respect, I do believe you're dangerously oversimplifying the challenges we face in supporting high-caliber investigative journalism.

    The tactile newspapers themselves are irrelevant. Their payroll for full time journalists is not.

    Discourse over this very conundrum and its potential hindrance to the ongoing effectiveness of the 4th Estate is ubiquitous: Rachel Maddow talked about this recently while gabbing onstage with MoJo hosts; DKos and other prominent journalistic online sources have complained that they are not receiving enough ad revenue from the DNC to support their level of journalistic involvement; IJ houses such as ProPublica and now Huffington's venture- we've yet to see the sustainability and controversial kinks ironed out, though I'm not suggesting I have any lack of confidence in their ultimate viability.

    I'm just saying that right now, today, I honestly think your post grossly oversimplifies this debate.

    Disclaimer: since this is simply my comment and not my own diary, I'm not going to bother hunting through my stores of links for the pertinent ones. Do your own homework, or, if you'd like an actual diary on this topic, let me know.

    Smart Government: 01.20.09 myth became reality. Looking better. -5.50 -4.51

    by ktward on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:53:02 PM PDT

    •  High caliber investigative journalism comes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ktward

      more from the heart, than from the pocket-book.

      •  Heart (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ktward

        doesn't pay the bills.

      •  Not. At. All. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aexia

        You're dangerously close to sounding like you're suggesting that Joe the Not-plumber/journalist should be taken seriously as a 'journalist' because he believes strongly in his own convictions. I mock JTP not because I don't agree with his POVs, I mock the absurd notion that he, and anyone else, believes he's in any way qualified or credible.

        Journalism is a highly-skilled professional industry. The 'heart' factor you're referring to is, I hope, the conviction to report with honesty and integrity; it has nothing to do with one's own personal opinions and convictions, though the two can and do intersect at times.

        Smart Government: 01.20.09 myth became reality. Looking better. -5.50 -4.51

        by ktward on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 07:37:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Joe the plumber has more interest in money! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ktward
          •  Nothing wrong with that. (0+ / 0-)

            There's nothing at all wrong with wanting to earn a living doing what you feel passionate about. And despite the fact that JTP is so painfully uninformed on so many levels, I do believe he's sincere. The point is, you must be skilled and educated for many fields, including journalism.

            Smart Government: 01.20.09 myth became reality. Looking better. -5.50 -4.51

            by ktward on Sun Apr 12, 2009 at 03:44:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We've had enough tax breaks for the most wealthy! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ktward

              That's what Joe the Plumber (alias investigative reporter for Israel) was after.

              One can be skilled, educated, and have lots of heart.

              Agreed it would be better if the money flowed to the most passionate, the most fair, the most just, the hardest-working--also.

  •  Don't forget about Melanie Sloan at CREW! (0+ / 0-)

    I'm surprised Kos didn't mention them on the Front Page.

  •  actusally for quite a long time now it is the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BobTrips, BoxNDox, ktward

    specialty magazines like the Atalantic, Harpers, Vanity Fair, Mother Jones, New Yorker, Rolling Stone et al that produce the best investigative long form pieces.

    Daily newspapers have a multitude of roles to play in the communities they serve, not just news, sports, advetrtising, obituiaries, lifestyle stuff, metro, rural, fashion, entertainment etc.

    the days when newspaers were the main source of news is way way gone.  Early 70's I would think might be when it realy started to change as television news magazine formats picked up some of the slack, and real hard invetstigative series such as CBS Reports, NBC White Papers etc gave way to 20/20, NBC magazine shows with Stone phillips etc. and others like it.

    Now many individual bloggers and joint blogs, some funded, some not, are beginning to fill the gap. but people like Seymour Hersh still publish in specialty sources not daily newspapers.

    So-called investigative journalism will survive, it will just have to seek new niche audiences instead of one massive audience that used to be its domain in the days of Woodward/Bernstein, great war correspondents of the 60's, the Pentagon papers etc. for example.

    It is totally wrong to say the newspapers are not producing great stuff though, how about jane Meyer, Dan Priest, Walter Pincyus and many fabulous war reporters/journalist.   The delivery of news is changing, there is no monolithic source anymore.

    In fact often great journlism has and still is done by individuals passionate about some subject who just goes off on their own and writes and then tries to sell it.

  •  Kos, maybe it's time to consider a new fellowship (0+ / 0-)

    for investigative reporting.

    There are many people here with the skills; and many others here they can turn to for help in tracking down documents, etc.

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." George Orwell

    by zic on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 03:00:57 PM PDT

  •  I hardly know where to start? (0+ / 0-)

    Like you mean THE BUSH CRIME FAMILY, and the lie up to the war?

    Like Judy and Scooter, who Cheney then quoted on the Sunday news shows?

    Like Katrina?

    Like Monsanto?

    Like the drug companies, who are price fixing, and I don't just mean not negotiating with the government?

    Like a newspaper that makes it's living on corporations at the end of the day is going to investigate them?

    I am back to the Republicans. You mean like publishing each of their press releases as original investigative journalism?

    Cry me a river.

    •  the msm is often way behind the curve... (0+ / 0-)

      ...how many times have Dkos front paged stories and rec'd diaries scooped them? I can't begin to count how many times the major themes discussed here for hours and even days, finally show up on the msm's radar and get top billing nationally. It's the netroots that are leading the way now. Kos and hundreds of others(inluding you Veihs)helped build this site into something we can all be proud of, yes yes, I'm danged proud of what Kos and everyone has done here. There's so many topics that you mentioned,and I wonder just how much national attention would any of them have gotten anywhere else, but for the hard-nosed investigative journalism of the blogosphere? Just you wait, Bush is going to get his just dues, a lot sooner than anyone thinks. Why do you think I'm still here? Winners never quit & quitters never win. And whiners always find somebody else to blame when they lose! That and the fact that I'm a terrible loser. Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser.

      "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

      by ImpeachKingBushII on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 05:07:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where were newspapers and their reporters (0+ / 0-)

    during the Bush Administration?  Lining up to polish the Decider's knob, that's where.  And who was invariably at the front of the line, and the most eager to drop to their knees?  The New York Times and the Washington Post.

    Let newspapers die.  They have earned their death.  Fuck them.

    More Democrats? Fuck that. We need BETTER Democrats -- or a third party. We need to PURGE the quislings from the Senate.

    by simca on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 03:16:50 PM PDT

  •  KOS and Mudflats (Alaska) offer (0+ / 0-)

    more thorough investigative reporting and intelligent commentary than any main stream media out there.

    Mudflats named "best Alaska blog" by Washington Post.
    http://themudflats.net

  •  Wow, you are a bigger fool than I thought (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, CocoaLove, poorwriter, ktward

    if you think local TV stations can compete with experienced newspaper investigative reporters over time.

    Sure, they can get lucky occasionally. But the record clearly shows the superiority of good print journalists if they're given the budget and time to follow a story.

    Your hubris and immaturity are really amazing sometimes.

  •  paid reporters (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim J, CocoaLove, poorwriter, ktward

    working for small papers are about the only ones who will attend and write about local boards and commissions. Hiring decisions at the city dump and resolutions from the board of equalization will be given short shrift when the local papers go. I wonder how and if they'll be covered by the new media.

    •  One idea... (0+ / 0-)

      Local reporting as a cottage industry.

      Ditch the print/delivery infrastructure.  Put all the resources into information gathering and writing.

      Publish on the web and use ads to support the labor.

      If a local person gets a good story with wider appeal they can sell it up to a site that covers state/regional issues.

      15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

      by BobTrips on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 04:23:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's also the record (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aexia

        newspapers provide a public record of proceedings that includes the boring things like who nominarted whom that isn't important until later or never. I doubt those things are covered in towns without papers.

        •  Some things might be better handled ... (0+ / 0-)

          in a new way.

          Routine things like public votes, for example.

          Require government entities to post that sort of stuff to a searchable database.  

          Minutes of all public meetings should be available on line.  Organizations already have a person responsible for recording as far as I know.

          New age - new solutions required....

          15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

          by BobTrips on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 05:12:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess you're right (0+ / 0-)

            because it'll have to be done a new way for sure. In the meantime there's a gap thieves can use. Some of those things are already required but no one reads them like they might a news story. Especially if the reporter mentions who was there and what they were wearing.

            But hey, I'm old and I like to drink coffee and read a paper each morning to keep track of the crooked mayor.

            •  I'm old and like to drink coffee, too... (0+ / 0-)

              But it would be a 4.5 mile drive to the mailbox to pick up the daily and then another 4.5 mile drive back.

              I've been getting my news trough the tubes for a long time.  

              I sort of think we're heading toward a time of better reporting.  A time of 'citizen reporters', in which someone who knows about crooked stuff has a much better chance of making their information public.

              In the past you could let the local newspaper know, but that doesn't mean that they would do anything about it.  I've lived multiple places where the crookedness of local officials was common knowledge but never printed.

              It feels to me that too much is being made of the "holy" newspaper and too many people are forgetting how biased and dishonest many papers have been.  

              I can assure you that when I was growing up in the South our local big city paper never published anything good about Martin Luther King or the Civil Rights Movement.

              15 to 6. Pulled ahead as soon as the gate opened and never looked back....

              by BobTrips on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 05:39:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  That's what minutes are for (0+ / 0-)

          All local government bodies keep a record of such things - it's called meeting minutes.

    •  it won't get covered (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aexia, ktward

      I seriously doubt many bloggers would sit through 10 hour meetings at the local level. It's not sexy, even for them. Hell, I hated covering zoning meetings or regular board meetings but I had to do it, and find angles to interest readers. It's not as easy as kos makes it seem.

      He just doesn't know. Investigative journalism is a specialty. Most journalists deal with the bread and butter issues that affect our daily lives.

      -7.38, -5.23 I survived the Purple Tunnel of Doom, no thanks to DiFi. I will remember this, though. Ugh!

      by CocoaLove on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 05:14:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bloggers are already doing it (0+ / 0-)

        In the Bay Area, local bloggers are the only ones providing thorough coverage of local government. One site Kos linked to, A Better Oakland is the best source of news for local government that we have out here. V Smoothe's coverage is far more thorough than anything you'll find in the Oakland Tribune or the San Francisco Chronicle. The best Alameda coverage is on the local blog The Island. Newspapers have already stopped covering local government in any meaningful way, and blogs stepped up to take their place.

        •  I'll check it out (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ktward

          It certainly is not the case in South Florida. A few blogs post notew, but most link to coverage from the local daily newspapers.

          It would be great to see more meaningful and responsible coverage of government. Someone needs to do it. But it is not as easy as kos makes it out to be.

          -7.38, -5.23 I survived the Purple Tunnel of Doom, no thanks to DiFi. I will remember this, though. Ugh!

          by CocoaLove on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 05:35:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  lol (0+ / 0-)

    Newspapers keeping the government honest... when do you think they'll go about doing that?

    Some say we need a third party. I wish we had a second party. -- Jim Hightower

    by joe m on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 04:33:34 PM PDT

  •  in 2006... (0+ / 0-)

    ...I stayed on my local rag's case about "investigative journalism", or their lack thereof. I practically badgered the then Publisher, Rhondra Matthews, who held all the real power(it's not the Editorial Editor). She got her walking papers, being transferred to the Baltimore Sun, later that same year. Blistering critique after appeal after scolding, it fell of deaf ears. She never once replied to any of my calls to a return to true investigative reporting. In one letter, I suggested that, "put a camera or camcorder in every reporter's hands and tell them, DON'T COME BACK UNTIL YOU HAVE A REAL STORY TO REPORT"! It got to the point that the only national expose published in the Daily Press was right-wing parroting of Bush repub talking points from the AP. Not saying she lied to everyone about getting "transferred", but I looked her up last week at the Baltimore Sun's personnel locator. I didn't see her name listed.

    "Great men do not commit murder. Great nations do not start wars". William Jennings Bryan

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 04:35:15 PM PDT

  •  Who said it had anything to do with print? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CocoaLove

    I suppose there was somebody, but of course that's silly.

    It is nice to have an organization behind you that can keep you fed while you poke around for information that may or may not lead somewhere. Investigative journalism is often tedious and time-consuming.

    Of course that organization can be a television station or an online news source. Whoever said otherwise wasn't really worth responding to.

  •  Kos isnt much different from the newspapers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aexia, CocoaLove

    tooting their own horn.  He's just as much a snotty snob as they are.

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