Some people hate what they call the "mainstream media." Take that as a given. They especially hate newspapers. They cheer declining circulation figures and newspapers shutting down. Many of them figure new sources of local news online will pick up the slack and deliver the content they need.Fair enough. In order for democracy (something I'm greatly in favor of) to work, we need an enlightened, engaged, informed electorate. And without the flow (a flood would be better) of information, we are the worse for it.
According to economists at Princeton University, those people should be careful what they wish for. When newspapers close, Democracy takes a hit.
But then he goes too far. Too far by actually informing us of the findings of that Princeton "study":
The duo studied the fallout from the closing of The Cincinnati Post on New Year's Eve 2007. They found that:Come on. You - and they - can't be serious. Cincinattians woke up on January 1, 2008, found the Cincinatti Post to have gone out of business, and couldn't find a Cincinnati Enquirer?
"The closing of the Post reduced the number of people voting in elections and the number of candidates for city council, city commission and school board in the Kentucky suburbs, and raised incumbent council and commission members' chances of keeping their jobs."
In other words, without the newspaper acting as watchdog and providing information about local politics, citizens were less involved and those in power more easily held onto it.
That reminds me of one of the closing scenes from the movie "Animal House" where a member of Delta House fraternity commandeered the role of drum major in the town parade and led the marching band down an alley, where the members thereof all smashed into one another - and kept marching in place.
Information didn't die when the Post folded. Nor was it less available. It was simply to be found in the same place under a different banner. Yeah, the opinion page of the Post held different views from those of the Enquirer, but so what? People can read the news and decide for themselves what their opinions should be. They don't need pointy-headed intellectuals sitting in some editorial boardroom to tell them what to believe anyway. No matter what pointy-headed intellectuals sitting in newspaper editorial boardrooms might think.
Other than that minor quibble, Mr. Trejbal and I agree (!) that the inevitable demise of America's newspapers is not a good thing. Stop the presses.