A Vote for Sheldon Adelson

Journalism prof argues that a less-than-ideal newspaper owner is better than no owner at all.

LVReviewJournal_1_11That’s just the way it is… in the 21st century.

So suggests Andrés Martinez, a professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and a columnist for L.A. website Zócalo Public Square. In his latest missive for the latter, Martinez writes that he is happy Sheldon Adelson has purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The alternative scenario(s), he argues, are generally much worse:

Having worked at four different newspapers, I know there are always trade-offs when it comes to who owns media, and that the character of owners isn’t solely determined by whether they are local or out of town, individual or corporate. It is hard to come by truly judicious and independent owners who can act as truly neutral community arbiters.

The profile of the ideal media owner, from a public interest standpoint, is an individual or family with deep roots in a community that is focused primarily, if not exclusively, on the news business, and won’t compromise that journalistic integrity to advance other business interests. Think of the Sulzbergers of New York or the Grahams of Washington.

This is not the contrarian view. It’s the realist’s view, from a veteran of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Los Angeles Times. Read the rest of his piece here.