WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

America Still Needs Newspapers

This may seem odd coming from a blog on a radio station website, but America still depends on newspapers for the bulk of its investigative reporting and enterprise journalism.

Some websites and specialty media have rushed in to fill the gap, but nothing can really replace a newspaper at the local level. The U.S. system of checks and balances - with its unofficial Fourth Estate - is in dangerous imbalance.

Hence, this piece from The NEW REPUBLIC: "If a Tree falls in Ohio..."


Posted at 2:59pm on December 11, 2012 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Dec 11, 2012 3:29pm
Most young folks aren't interested in the news or you'd be hearing hourly newscasts on music-oriented FM stations. There's the real issue Allan. The advertisers for your station want YOUNG listeners rather than 61-year-old listeners like me. My kids ages 34, 30, and 22 are not into the news (they didn't take after me apparently in this regard). So newspapers have the same problem radio has, attracting young demos the advertisers want. This is why the printed media are in so much trouble. It's not that folks like you and I no longer read a paper; it's that the young won't.

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 7:14pm

@Mike from Delaware: Agree strongly on your point about younger people being disconnected from current events and history.

From ESPN today: Members of the Los Angeles Lakers went to see the movie "Lincoln" recently. Kobe Bryant is quoted as saying most of his teammates had never heard of Abraham Lincoln...and they were shocked when Lincoln died at the end of the movie.

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Dec 11, 2012 11:00pm
Teatime: In America it pays to be ignorant. Those members of the LA Lakers appear to be ignorant people, but because they can play a game well make millions of dollars. Is it any wonder why the kids today choose to be ignorant rather than study hard.

My question goes beyond Allan's about still needing newspapers. My question is: Has America entered the new Dark Ages? We've become a nation that values being cool or hip over having knowledge. It seems the younger part of our society especially values being like the characters in Dumb and Dumber rather than deriving value for being able to read, write, understand science, enjoy or perform the arts, or the ability to THINK about something other than themselves. Our society caters more and more to the crass, harsh, violent, selfish, sex-crazed, ignorant members of our society. No standards, anything goes literally. We, like Ancient Rome, value our gladiators (sports figures) and entertainers (their circuses) far more than we do our teachers, engineers, scientists, technicians, architects, craftspeople, etc., etc. When asked in surveys why young people today are going to college, they respond so they can make better money vs. earlier generations from the 60's who said, so that they can make the world a better place to live. Something is dangerously wrong in today's America that goes far beyond the political. It goes to the inner man/woman. It used to be, in the America I grew up in, that you didn't just do as you wished without considering the other person. Today, many do not care how their actions will affect someone else, too bad for them. It used to be Do Unto Others As You'd Want them to Do Unto You. Today it's do it to others BEFORE they do it to you. America used to be quite literally the "Leave it to Beaver" society. Today America has become the society of "Homer Simpson". The sad thing is many see being like Bart and Homer Simpson as an improvement over being like the Cleavers.

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 11:39pm
Anyone can postulate about the demise of America... But as we do it, so it has been done by every generation when confronted by its next...

Our values change because our worlds change. If we keep our kids locked down to the values of the 50's, they are simply screened out in the jobs of today....

That time from the 50's is gone. Today's children, will one day be parents too. They too will pine to each other, how their kids don't respect their parent's values anymore... They will say: "the things we use to do, our kids have no interest in doing..."

Their kids will also say the same when their turn comes....

I differ from you, in thinking this is bad; this is good.... This is how our species survives.

The reason religion is not a big thing in todays society, is because it wasn't a big thing in our youth to us, generationally speaking. Our generation failed at the challenge of integrating religion into the technology of our day... We failed. It is our fault, not theirs. Religion stopped growing; stopped trying, and just held on and stayed where it was, with no growth, no expansion....

You want to impress young people? Stop going to church and show up at soup kitchens to help out instead. They will be impressed. Stop going to church and collect clothes from your neighbors to give to those freezing on cold park nights.. They will be impressed. Stuff like that.

When I was little... the blah, blah, blah of pastors rang on deaf ears. I'm only Christian, because someone mentored me and said, "forget that crap". This is "real" religion... this is why we believe as we do. Join us and really make a difference.... "

Churches failed.

Tue, Dec 11, 2012 11:41pm
On newspapers. I have time only read two articles in them a day. Newspapers don't fit into our daily lives. Most of mine go straight to the recycling, still in their plastic wrapper...

Wed, Dec 12, 2012 3:52am
There's enough bad news on the internet I can read if I like. Why would I waste even 50 cents on an antiquated form of media? Besides, isn't everybody worried about destroying the planet by cutting down all the trees needed to publish things in print? Seems hypocritical to me!

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Dec 12, 2012 8:03am
Kavips: Churches are where you find those soup kitchens; without churches there would be no soup kitchens, clothes closets, food pantries, shelters, etc., in the Wilmington area. The Catholics, Lutherans, United Methodists, Salvation Army, Sunday Breakfast Mission all operate various forms of this sort of ministry here in the Wilmington Metro and all are Church operated.

If all the churches disappeared tomorrow (as many liberals would like to see) all of our taxes would have to go up tremendously as then, the government would have to take over those things the churches have been doing, same if all Christian Schools and Catholic Schools disappeared tomorrow (the public school system would collapse from the overload of kids.

By the way, the funding for those ministries comes from Christians who voluntarily give money, time, and help to run, supply, serve at, and finance. But that is only one part of what a church does (meeting the physical needs of the lesser than thee) the second thing a church does that the government cannot and frankly should not do is meet the spiritual needs of people, and in the case of a Christian Church, bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to the world. Is the Church perfect? No, it has people in it, and we all are sinners saved by God's Grace.

I applaud your helping out at a soup kitchen, thank you for caring and being a blessing to folks, but don't forget who put that soup kitchen there, probably some Christian church or organization.

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