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Fewer papers - more $$$$$ for politicos

Observations Commentary Honest public officials don’t mind newspapers or other real news sources as long as the stories are fair and impartial. It’s the crooked ones and the vendors who support them who wish our doors would all close for business. Then their own little minions could spew out BS all day long on partisan Facebook pages, pretending to be legit sources of real news. Sad part is, too many naïve people believe what they read on social media and take it as gospel. In recent years, especially since the Great Recession of 2008, both daily newspapers and weekly newspapers across the country have closed their doors. The dailies have been hit the hardest. In fact, there is a website devoted to the demise of newspapers: “Newspaper Death Watch.” For a full list of dead newspapers, go to Wikipedia, and type in: “List of Defunct U.S. Newspapers.” That list, however, goes back to the days of when Mark Twain was a newspaper reporter working out of California, so keep that in mind. It’s no secret that in the newspaper business today, some of the bigger ones have indeed fallen: the Tucson Citizen; the Rocky Mountain News; the Baltimore Examiner; the Kentucky Post; the Cincinnati Post; the King County Journal; the Albuquerque Tribune; the South Idaho Press; the Honolulu Advertiser; the Tampa Tribune; and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Last summer, the New York Daily News cut its newsroom staff in half. Thirty years ago, the newspaper employed 400 journalists vs. the 45 who still have jobs today. Overall newspaper employment has fallen by 55 percent since 2000, from 424,000 people to 183,300 in mid-2016, according to the web site with the happy moniker: Newspaper Death Watch. All told, more than 2,000 newspapers have closed up shop. The politicians, of course, some of them anyway, love it, because what that means is, in the borough of Queens, with approximately 2.3 million residents and 35,000 major crimes per year, the Daily News doesn’t have one single court reporter working the courthouse beat full time. The terminated journalists aren’t happy, but there are some lawyers and judges who have to be simply thrilled that there’s no nosey reporter looking over their respective shoulder: “Bartender, another round. Hell, bring the bottle over here.” According to a story published last year by Journalist’s Resource – “Civic Engagement declines when local newspapers shut down.” In other words, it’s not news that it’s tough times for ...

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