Elephant Diaries: The Confusion

There’s a common confusion among “Netizens” about the reason for the mainstream news media’s demise – the notion that newspapers are in decline because they have not done their job of informing the public well enough. Paul Mulshine, reporting from Newark, offers a different explanation:

They assume newspapers are going out of business because we aren’t doing what we in fact do amazingly well, which is to quickly analyze and report on complex public issues. The real reason they’re under pressure is much more mundane. The Internet can carry ads more cheaply, particularly help-wanted and automotive ads.

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.

(h/t Eric)