• AutoTL;DR@lemmings.worldB
    4 months ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:

    The slow crash of newspapers and magazines would be of limited interest save for one thing: Traditional media had at its core the exalted and difficult mission of communicating information about the world.

    From investigative reports on government to coverage of local politicians, the news served to make all the institutions and individuals covered a bit more transparent and, possibly, more honest.

    “Soon after the printing press emerged in the 15th century, the scriptoriums for copying manuscripts in monasteries rapidly began shutting down,” said Mr. Fidler, now 81 and living in retirement in Santa Fe, N.M. “I’m not very optimistic about the survival of the majority of newspapers in the United States.”

    The decline of the news media has been paralleled by the fracturing of American society, which is now as angry and divided as it’s been since the height of the Vietnam War and civil rights protests more than a half-century ago.

    Mr. Fidler spent 21 years at Knight Ridder, a newspaper chain that had important metro dailies in cities like Miami and San Jose, Calif. One early project was Viewtron, an effort to put terminals into people’s homes that would deliver news, shopping and chat.

    “I didn’t consider all the possible cross impacts of emerging technologies that would lead to Craigslist, alternative news sites, social media and other products that would greatly diminish newspaper circulation and advertising revenue,” Mr. Fidler said.

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