Good Riddance To Mainstream Media

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Mainstream Media

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mainstream media is dying. The network evening news audience is in steady decline; the big three magazine publishers, Time Inc., Condé Nast and Hearst have all closed or consolidated titles; and the newspaper industry has been especially ravaged, with dailies folding across the country. Increasingly people get their news from the internet and from cable channels. Advertisers are moving on to Google and other non-traditional sources. Do these developments leave us better off? The democratization of news, in an unfiltered internet to which all bloggers and news aggregators have equal access, is a good thing. It encourages a diversity of voices, competing to provide information and analysis. Others argue that the public loses when traditional journalistic standards are no longer upheld, and where resources to investigate and report critical stories are no longer available. Can mainstream media re-invent itself to thrive in a digital age? Does it matter?

  • For the motion

    For

    John Hockenberry

    Co-Host of The Takeaway

  • For the motion

    For

    Jim VandeHei

    Executive Editor of Politico

  • For the motion

    For

    Michael Wolff

    Founder of newser.com

  • Against the motion

    Against

    Katrina vanden Heuvel

    Editor and Publisher of The Nation

  • Against the Motion

    Against

    David Carr

    Columnist for The New York Times

  • Against the motion

    Against

    Phil Bronstein

    Reporter for The San Francisco Examiner

  • Moderator Image

    Moderator

    John Donvan

    Author and correspondent for ABC News.

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Hockenberry

For The Motion

John Hockenberry

Co-Host of The Takeaway

is co-host of The Takeaway, a national morning news program co-produced by WNYC Radio and Public Radio International. During his time at ABC and NBC, he earned four Emmy Awards, three Peabody Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and a Casey Medal.

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Jim VandeHei

For The Motion

Jim Vandehei

Executive Editor of Politico

is executive editor of Politico. In the fall of 2006, VandeHei, along with co-founder John Harris, left the Washington Post to create Politico, now one of the nation’s most influential websites and newspapers.

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Michael Wolff

For The Motion

Michael Wolff

Founder of newser.com

is a columnist for Vanity Fair and the founder of news aggregator newser.com. His latest book is The Man Who Owns the News (2008), a biography of Rupert Murdoch.

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vanden Heuvel

Against The Motion

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Editor and Publisher of The Nation

is editor and publisher of the Nation. She is the editor of several books including, Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover (2009) and co-editor of Taking Back America--And Taking Down The Radical Right (2004).

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Carr

Against The Motion

David Carr

Columnist for The New York Times.

writes a column for the Monday Business section of the New York Times that focuses on media issues including print, digital, film, radio and television.

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Bronstein

Against The Motion

Phil Bronstein

Reporter for The San Francisco Examiner

began his journalism career in his teens as a film reviewer. He joined the San Francisco Examiner as a reporter in 1980, and beginning in 1983, spent 10 years as a war correspondent where he was a 1986 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his work in the Philippines.

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Declared Winner: Against The Motion

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    2 comments

    • Comment Link Al Dorman Thursday, 10 October 2013 08:58 posted by Al Dorman

      Funny that I^2 is so hopelessly pro-establishment that there isn't really a debate here. Politico = MSM online. A real debate on this would include Chomsky.

    • Comment Link Lana Sunday, 09 September 2012 16:20 posted by Lana

      Interesting. Now here's the part I don't get why, from the advertiser's point of view, would you pay more for print aivtredsing than online? Millions will see it, rather than the tens of thousands who may or may not grab a copy of Politico's print edition. And you can measure their reaction. I understand that now companies can use the web to connect directly to consumers, so they are reluctant to advertise online, but that doesn't explain why they are willing to throw money away on paper ads that are ostensibly worth less, reach fewer people, and have no metrics. What publishers need to do is create a new relationship with advertisers. In exchange for a higher quality, larger, more interactive ad (sponsored posting, interstitial, preroll, prominent banner in an email message, whatever), the publisher should be able to charge a higher CPM. Or so it seems to me. Web aivtredsing isn't just worthless because advertisers don't want to pay for it it's also worthless because websites are doing a horrible job of selling it.

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