The Slow Death of Local Media

As is being reported all over, Knight-Ridder is slashing 100 jobs from our Philly papers. (See the actual memo at Philadelphia Will-Do.) 75 jobs come from the Inquirer, and 25 come from the Daily News. The Inquirer has a staff of about 5 times the DN, so the percentage loss is roughly the same.

Let me be the first to greet Knight-Ridder with a one finger salute, as they slowly kill any relevant Philadelphia news media. Terrific. I do not know which reporters will be bought out, but, off of the top my head, here are a few I don't think we can do without:

Tom Fitzgerald
Carla Anderson
Dave Davies
Will Bunch
Carrie Budoff
Tom Ferrick
Inga Saffron

Does anyone not think we are in a downward spiral here, that leaves the Daily News as a version of the Metro, with a really good sports section, and leaves the Inquirer as a bastion of suburban fluff? Does anyone not think that the coverage of real, substantive issues will not suffer? Blogs are wonderful, and they can certainly put certain issues into the forefront of local consciousness. But they will never, and I mean never, replace the effect that real, thorough journalists can have.

The Daily News is already thin. The Inquirer is already not focused enough on City issues, and is always losing any real international perspective as they shut down bureaus around the world. I really fear what is ahead.

Former Editors take

Check out this article from Editor and Publisher, gives the perspective of two ex-editors of the papers.

Hyper Local Citizens Journalism

It is sad, but not surprising to see job cuts like this. Journalism has gotten lost in the search for greater profits.

However, there is hope. I am up in Connecticut, and around here, there are starting to be more and more hyper local citizens journalism sites. If the corporate media entities won't do the job of journalism, there is no reason we can't.

Be the media! Start your own online local newspaper now.

For example, take a look at:

WB 17 Losing News Too

Dan beat me to the punch on this story (take THAT Inky!), so I will just add the news that in addition to the lay-offs at the DN and Inky, Dan Gross reports in today's DN that the WB-17 news will be taken over by Channel 10, NBC-WCAU later this year. You can read more about it here.

For all of you bloggers who don't watch TV, WB-17 is an old-school, 30 minute 10 PM newscast. I like it because it is a just the facts kind of broadcast. NBC-10 on the other hand represents the worst of sensationalistic local news (these are the people who set up a sting for pedophiles in a suburban neighborhood during sweeps week a few years back).

It's important to remember that a majority of Philadelphians (and Americans) get their news from TV (I believe it is a WHOPPING majority). Eliminating straight news broadcasts (as much as that is possible) like WB 17's in favor of more sensationalistic style news is no good for progressives trying to get coverage of our attempts to make change.

How long si it gonna be before we just got to Walmart to buy our news?

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