Food for thought on the ‘death’ of newspapers

Randy Siegel, president of Parade publications and co-founder of the Newspaper Project, offers a thought-provoking commentary on the “death” of newspapers in Editor & Publisher.

He asks that the backgrounds and motives of media experts, commentators and critics be available to those listening to and reading their comments. That seems fair. He points out examples where “media critics” might have other motives for proclaiming the death of newspapers. He’s right that the average news consumer should be made aware of this information.

It is an interesting piece. The only thing it lacks is full disclosure of Siegel’s motives and backgrounds. The piece does say Siegel is president of Parade publications and co-founder of the Newspaper Project (the latter, by the way, appears at the end of the article), but it does not explain in any way what that project is. Perhaps given that Editor & Publisher  is aimed at newspaper people, it assumes all readers know that the Newspaper Project was founded by a group of newspaper executives who don’t think newspapers are dead and are trying to counter that idea. But it shouldn’t assume that every reader will know that. Anyone can read that article on E&P’s web site. In the interest of fairness and full disclosure, the Newspaper Project should have been explained. Without that explanation, Siegel’s compelling arguments may be lost in the perception of hypocrisy.

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