Mainstream Newspapers a Net Negative for Society
In other words, any exacting assessment of the actual performance of newspapers rated against the twaddle about the role of the Fourth Estate spouted by publishers and editors at their annual conventions would issue a negative verdict in every era. Of course there have been moments when a newspaper or a reporter could make fair claims to have done a decent job, inevitably eradicated by a panicky proprietor, a change in ownership, advertiser pressure, eviction of some protective editor or summary firing of the enterprising reporter. By and large, down the decades, the mainstream newspapers have— often rabidly— obstructed and sabotaged efforts to improve our social and political condition.
Will the broadsheets and tabloids vanish entirely? Not in the foreseeable future, any more than trains disappeared at the end of the railway age. A mature industry will yield income and attract investors interested in money or power long after its glory days are over. But it’s a world in decline, and a propaganda system in decline.
AP has pointed out that this piece is from Alexander Cockburn, an intel shill who denies the 9/11 conspiracy-- so that fact should be taken into account when reading Cockburn talk about newspapers producing propaganda and obstructing justice.
Of course, the overriding issue here is that the corporate media is a corrupt, criminal enterprise, pure and simple.
That being said, I enjoy reading my local newspaper once in a while, and would miss it, at least a little bit, if it disappeared.