Rich Colleges Should Save Nation's Top Newspapers

Wealthy universities should get together, buy struggling dailies
By Neil Turitz,  Newser User
Posted May 7, 2008 9:29 PM CDT
The internet is not nearly as reliable as print journalism, argues Lee Smith in his Chronicle of Higher Education opinion piece.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
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(Newser) – The New York Times is in "perilous financial condition," and colleges would play the perfect savior, Lee Smith writes in the Chronicle for Higher Education. His plan: Have the seven richest institutions direct 3% of their endowments—which, combined, come to $114 billion— to buying the Gray Lady. "That's for a start." Later on, universities could snap up other papers that "make intellectual life possible."

"Universities have an implied responsibility … to protect and promote a body of knowledge for the benefit of society," he writes. But that body doesn't have to be on newsprint; rather than preserve "the familiar bundle of paper in plastic," we must safeguard "the labor and brain-intensive work of reporting, writing, and editing the millions of fragments of information scattered across the planet every day."