Once upon a time in the United States of America each major city had at least one or two quality newspapers that offered readers a wide selection in political and social viewpoints. The explosion of the Internet and MySpace or Facebook has dramatically impacted the lives of those who work in print media. Forty years ago, a Chicago Tribune had a full time staff in Europe or Asia, individuals who spent years learning about an area of the world. Today, this information comes from large media conglomerates or online sources. The Chicago Tribune staff was informed by management at least 80 editorial positions would be eliminated in a drive to reduce expenditures an improve profits. Tribune chief, Randy Michaels told a group of businessmen he could save money by “rightsizing” the newspaper.
In any revolutionary moment in human history one can see benefits in the new as well as what is being lost by ending the old. Newspapers offered more information than is found on the evening newscast. They provided diverse viewpoints and were able to due in depth reporting on local issues. Much of this effort is no longer available to those who rely solely on the Internet media. One can only wonder if the purpose of a newspaper is to be “rightsized” or is it a community asset that must be preserved?