“So why on earth are people talking about a bailout for newspapers? Why is President Obama saying he’d consider it? Why is Congress holding hearings and considering “The Newspaper Revitalization Act” in a bid to save these ailing old rags with tax breaks and other handouts? It’s like introducing legislation to save horse-drawn carriages, or steam engines, or black-and-white TV. It’s stupid.”
Okay, okay, maybe it is stupid, Daniel Lyons of Newsweek. But you’re being a little harsh in your blog post here (“People worry about the fate of the San Francisco Chronicle, but that paper has been an embarrassment for decades…”) just to get traffic. We get that (and are falling for your linkbait, darn it all).
But really. When the outdated product is a newspaper it’s OK to tell thousands of people their jobs are history, all at once, but when the outdated product is a gas-guzzling automobile technically inferior to the ones coming from elsewhere, we have to save American jobs?
This isn’t a dig against Lyons. He did post perhaps the most incendiary “kill newspapers” opinion piece we’ve seen in a while, but the anti-newspaper bailout sentiment is certainly not his alone. And too, it’s not that everyone supported bailing out the automakers, but we seem to recall a lot more was said about the jobs then.
Alright, screw it, we don’t want to get too far into politics. And the guy might be right. But in an almost 1000-word piece, he mentions the journalists themselves once: “But journalists will find jobsand they’ll be working in a better, faster medium.”
We hope he’s right, but we’re not sure that there’s room for all the laid-off journalists to stay in journalism.