I came across this article in the Gwinnett Daily Post, a newspaper that I must confess seldom receives attention in these blog pages.
The report talks about the decline of newspapers in America and why, even in the age of the blog newspapers are still vital:
A so-called “victory” for the blogosphere vis-a-vis declining newspaper readership is very much a defeat for the freedoms we take for granted.
Newspapers serve their communities in ways that can’t be replicated by bloggers —noble-spirited, smart and entertaining as many often are —or by anyone else. They not only help define a given community, but also serve as both government watchdog and information conduit. They have the resources to investigate, to report, to inform as no other entity can, does or will.
I suspect that the wider availability of newspapers online and 24 hour TV news channels is a far greater influence on the decline of the newspaper than bloggers. But in any case, whether bloggers are to blame or not it is the newspaper cartoonist who suffers:
The decision to eliminate the in-house cartoonist symbolizes a lack of understanding among those who hold the purse strings about what’s needed to save newspapers. Cartoon and column space can be filled with syndicated material, but the human quality is diminished when a paper’s own in-house voices are lost to the cost-cutting void.
Very true. But all the more reason for cartoonists to look for new ways to sell their work. I like to think that the blog is one of them.