Robert Bennett: Why the U.S. still needs newspapers

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  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 13, 2013 4:16 p.m.

    We also need news papers for a place to advertise. News papers are still a good place to advertise (for some things... to some people).

    But as your best place for news... If you like day old news, I guess so.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 13, 2013 12:41 p.m.

    I think the reason some people think we still need news papers is... so the generations of media elitists can continue to control public opinion and elections.

    IF news papers were like they were back in the Cronkite era (where he left his liberal views aside and reported what happened instead of pushing their political agenda... the venerable news papers and networks would not have become as irrelevant as they have become today.

    Technology just allows us more options. It doesn't guarantee more accuracy, or less agenda. It puts the responsibility (and the ability) back on us to research what we are seeing in the news to determine if it's the truth or just somebody's spin on the truth.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 13, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    Clearly, alternatives to TV news are needed, if, for no other reason, there is too much going on for TV, with its severe time limitations to cover. My favorite print media are books. Internet news such as it is is great for current events. Papers and magazines always seemed to stack up. Even just dealing with the mail is a problem, especially with all the solicitations. Tons of credit card offers- you can't just throw them away, I shred them to avoid identity theft problems. And so it goes.....

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    Aug. 13, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    What killed the newspaper was that the Internet took away most communities' ONLY venue to place ads -- the classifieds. From Craig's List to -- people can now place free ads and not pay the hundreds of dollars an ad would cost in a classified.

    As newspapers gave their content away for free, Google because the main profiteer of news because it organized it, personalized it, and presented it to online readers by linking its own paid ads to it, regardless of source. Ironically, Google doesn't have one reporter on its staff, but essentially take much of the profits from news. Newspapers are trying to erect pay walls so that their best content is no longer free, but people are still able to get around such pay walls if the content is reposted elsewhere.

    Newspaper are still needed. Some papers, such as the Des News, are relying on 'citizen journalism,' but such strategies has created misinformed or bogus stories, such as the scandal of Mayor Winder using an alias to write positive stories about his West Valley City.

    Replacing lost income from classifieds is what's needed to revive news.

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 8:29 p.m.


    I agree. I've mentioned this to a number of people- the DN these days feels more like a big Church newsletter. They are trying to appeal to a wider audience than the Wasatch Front or Utah and so it feels less like a city or state newspaper. I come here out of curiosity. Occasionally I find an interesting story. I read through the comment boards to laugh at some of the things that are said and occasionally comment when some of the comments seem outrageous or uninformed.

    But then, I often turn to a number of other sources to get more information about certain stories, or news about stories they don't report on here that affect this community. I too wish the DN would return to some more in-depth (if not investigative) journalism.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 6:57 p.m.

    Nowadays every reporter wants to editoralize in his articles giving his opinion and not giving an unbiased report. So most conservatives who consist of close to half the people don't read them.

  • JP71 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    I understand this commentary but I think it's just nostalgia. We need to maintain the quality of a news paper while embracing new technology. The physical news papers is dead and that is OK. The challenge is to keep reading quality literature and not give into fluff.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 12, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    The role of the press in Watergate fed a misperception of investigative reporters whose job it is to get the bad guys. That inspired a new generation to pursue careers in journalism for the wrong reason. The job of a responsible investigative reporter is simply to get the facts out and leave it to the public to decide who the bad guys are.

    The press is historically a scandal industry. Watergate did much to redeem it from seedier past excesses. But their finest hour in American history was quickly followed by a post-Watergate hubris that cost the press some of the ground it gained. True to Proverbs’ timeless caution, pride precedes the fall.

    Quality journalism is not about making money.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    Independent Newspapers are needed but a couple companies own nearly all weeklies and most daily's.
    They are being treated the same as any other business when a corp takes over, and are no longer concerned
    with local news only how much return can the shareholders make. I watched this happen in early 2000 as
    pulitzer than lee took over nearly all weeklies in Utah and then systematically destroyed them by replacing reporters and photographers with generic AP articles and shutterstock. By removing most local news and photos, which is the main reason people subscribed, the local papers are little more than the legal maximum of advertising space and coupon inserts vs the minimum of news.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    All media, printed, TV, radio, telephone, roadside signs are owned and operated by business operations for business reasons.

    The terms conservative, liberal, religious, and other false characterizations are just smoke to cover the real purpose and object of the media.

    Will Rogers is quoted with the “All I know is what I read in the newspapers”. The quote is more the case today if we change the word newspapers to the word media.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 12, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    In this era of private blogs, anyone can call himself a news reporter entitled to freedom of the press. The First Amendment sets no standards of journalistic professionalism and that’s as it should be. Like Bob Bennett, I wonder what will be the fate for old school journalism. Maybe I'm just getting more cynical as I get older but it does seem like professional pride is dying in journalism in the scramble to get the story first.

    It’s always been that way to some extent. But the challenge of finding the news reporting I feel I can trust is getting more complicated.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 12, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    Bennett is correct, but the Deseret News is not really a newspaper any more. It's geared toward public relations and feel good fluff instead of news. In depth reporting is practically non-existent. As an old man, I remember the days when the Deseret News excelled in local news coverage and investigative reporting. If it ever goes back to its old model, I will subscribe again.

  • Denverite Centennial, CO
    Aug. 12, 2013 7:20 a.m.

    The biggest reason people don't read newspapers any more is not, IMO, a product of laziness, technology or even an inability to read. It is that newspapers are no longer seen as offering balanced coverage (they never really did--but kept that illusion up for a long time and still fool Democrats with it today).

    Consider Bennett himself saying he reads 3 newspapers a day. If any newspaper would give anything like balanced political coverage so that people could get both sides of any debate cogently in 1 paper, a lot of people would actually read it-in print or online.

    But since they don't...this is what you get. And if Bezos ever wants to make the Post anything other than a vanity project, he should fire half the liberals there and put conservatives in their places. Presto--something both informational and worth reading. Naah....never happen.