Tuesday, October 30, 2007




JEFF JACOBY, BOSTON GLOBE - "Who Killed the Newspaper?" asked The
Economist in a cover story last year. Note the past tense.

The conventional answer, of course, is that the Internet is the culprit.
. . But is the rise of the Internet really the cause of the exodus from
newspapers? When I signed on 20 years ago, the slide in readership was
already underway. Daily circulation was already falling. . .

I nominate not the computer screen, but the TV screen. Newspapers have
been undone by the rise of television, which emphasizes stimulation over
substance and fast-paced imagery over focused thought. A generation
raised on TV mindlessness is a generation less equipped to read a
newspaper - and therefore less interested in doing so. . .

Then again, who knows? "I have been in the newspaper business since
1964," the celebrated political columnist Molly Ivins said at Harvard's
Kennedy School of Government last fall, shortly before her death in
January, "and during that entire time I have been told it's a dying



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