Shouldn’t bail out newspapers

Amy Allen’s March 30 article raises some much needed discussion regarding the future of newspapers and journalism in the United States. However, her assumption that newspapers are innocent victims of the current economic climate is naïve, to say the least. The recent round of bankruptcies is only the latest in the long steady decline of the industry (For an excellent fictionalized account of such events, see Season 5 of the HBO program “The Wire”).

Newspapers have cut correspondents, have become more reliant on AP and Reuters, and have been slow to embrace the Internet. Don’t get me wrong, I fully support local newspapers and I’m an avid reader of the New York Times. But one should ask if throwing money at the problem would actually facilitate a recovery. Unlike the auto manufacturers and the investment companies which have developed new business plans, a stimulus package for the newspapers would simply support a failing business model.

The newspaper industry is in an unenviable catch-22 situation, whereby they can cut costs and lose readers or maintain the status quo and lose money. Some very difficult questions need to be asked if the newspaper industry wishes to remain economically viable.

Kevin Sheahan

Senior in LAS