Rather: Prez Must Save Newspapers

Corporate interests, internet advertising crippling industry

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 9, 2009 10:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – The media's troubles mean that "this country is in trouble," writes Dan Rather, and no academic study or think-tank report is going to save the industry. We need no less than a “nonpartisan, blue-ribbon” presidential commission “to address the perilous state of America’s news media,” and make recommendations as to how to fix it, he suggests in a Washington Post op-ed.

“This is a crisis that threatens our democratic republic at its core,” Rather warns. Corporate values have replaced journalistic values at the “mere handful” of organizations that cover news. Meanwhile, advertising’s flow toward the Internet is sucking the life from newspapers, “the foundation" of hard news, he adds. “If newspapers are taken out of the equation, dwindling news resources will be stretched to the breaking point”—and the Internet’s not ready to pick up the slack, Rather warns.

President Barack Obama needs to establish a presidential commission to study ways to save newspapers, says Dan Rather.
President Barack Obama needs to establish a presidential commission to study ways to save newspapers, says Dan Rather.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
Former CBS news anchor Dan Rather.
Former CBS news anchor Dan Rather.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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We need news that breeds understanding, not contempt; news that fosters healthy skepticism of the workings of power rather than a paralyzing cynicism. We need information a self-governing people requires. - Dan Rather

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