No Newspaper Is Worth Saving—in Its Current Form

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2009 6:32 PM CDT
A reader buys a copy of the Boston Globe in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Mass., Wednesday, May 6, 2009.   (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)

(Newser) – It's only a matter of time before major American newspapers become nonprofits, writes Simon Dumenco in Advertising Age. The idea—he himself wrote about it in 2006, borrowing from the model of the Guardian—is "an inevitability," he writes. And now that a few "suddenly panicky" senators are on board, it will only "gain momentum." But will be newspapers be bailed out along the lines of Detroit or Wall Street? Forget it.

"They absolutely shouldn't be—and not just because of the thorny separation-of-church-and-state issues," he writes. "What's worth preserving at newspapers is, let's face it, actually rather limited." Serious reporting, yes. The "lifestyle fluff," no. "In other words—let me just state the harsh truth here—there is no American newspaper that is worth preserving in its entirety, in its current configuration, as a nonprofit."