10 May, 2009

Newspapers becoming an ‘endangered species’: Senate

04:02 PM May 08, 2009

WASHINGTON - Old Media squared off against New Media as a United States Senate panel on Wednesday examined the future of journalism in the digital age.

Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, called the hearing saying he was concerned that “newspapers look like an endangered species.”

“As a means of conveying news in a timely way, paper and ink have become obsolete, eclipsed by the power, efficiency and technological elegance of the Internet,” he said.

Mr Kerry noted that new media outlets were springing up on the Web, but asked “whether online journalism will sustain the values of professional journalism the way the newspaper industry has?”

He said he did not know what role, if any, the Government should play in ensuring the US continues to have a thriving press, but it was clear something had to be done in the face of the collapse of the newspaper industry.

Two major dailies, The Rocky Mountain News and Seattle Post-Intelligencer, have shut down in the past few months, casualties of the dramatic change in the media landscape brought about by the emergence of the Internet.

Mr David Simon, a former reporter at the Baltimore Sun testified he was not encouraged by a “New Media” that “leeches reporting from mainstream news publications, whereupon aggregating websites and bloggers contribute little more than repetition, commentary and froth.”

“High-end journalism is dying in America and unless a new economic model is achieved it will not be reborn on the Web or anywhere else,” he said. AFP

From TODAY, World – Friday, 08-May-2009

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