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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Paid Analysis

Michael Kinsley writes for Slate (emphasis mine) on the death of newspapers:
But how else will they be different from the newspapers of today (or a couple of years ago)? What of value will be missing? The lists tend to reflect the subjective tastes of the listmakers. But typically these lists include 1) local and community news; 2) international news (in particular that iconic Baghdad bureau); 3) investigative and "enterprise" journalism at all levels; and 4) serendipity—stories you stumble across as you turn the pages of a newspaper. (No one seems overly alarmed about national news or about commentary and analysis of any sort. As a paid-up member of the commentariat, I note this bitterly but without comment. It would be hard to argue that there is a shortage of opinions on the Internet.)
Mike, let me assure you. I'm alarmed. I know that the web is abound with opinions and a great chunk of them are unbelievably naive and absurd. Most of those who take news seriously invariably value the editorial page too. Although most of the opinion articles published today are reflections of their bosses' political/environmental/economic affiliations, they're nevertheless informed and present at least one side of the argument convincingly. And this is very important for me to stay away from confirmation bias. And in cases of columnists like David Brooks - a conservative writing for a somewhat center-left paper, their opinions and the comments that ensue for their pieces are too invigorating to be lost to a bad business model.

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