Freedom of the press...
Some folks believe newspapers will cease to exist (along with the post office) in about 10 years. Hmmmm... Seriously, how long will the newspaper industry survive? Your guess is as good as the next guy or gal's. One way they WON'T survive is by restricting and/or charging for online content. I am blessed in that for me The New York Times and The Albany Times Union each are a mouseclick away. Sites that tell me "your free trial" is up, offer "pay per view" or display othersuch drivel, never see me again.
By the way, in a few minutes I'm off to the store to BUY copies of The Sunday New York Times, The Times Union and The NY Post. Weekend is the only time I can really "curl up" with and dive into mountains of newsprint!
There is another battle brewing, and this little litmus test going on in upstate New York could have bigger implications for both newspapers and the cottage newsblogging industry. As this has the potential to unfurl rather quickly, consider all the players and what's at stake. Like one of the old NWA pro-wrestling matches, you never know who might turn on who. So, pop a cool one, enjoy the Memorial Day holiday weekend, thank those soldiers, sailors and airmen who gave their lives so you could be bar-b-q'ing without fearing for your safety, and let's see what happens next.Bloggers vs. Times Union vs. New York Times ::: a "cage match" pits citizen journalists against mighty metropolitan newspapers. The battle involves newspapermen, government officials, law enforcement authorities and others "in the public eye."
What to watch for: not the content, but the effect. In the end, this match-up will show whether bloggers can make any lasting impression, any impact on public opinion that measures up against the kind of public opinion newspapers were able to set, sway and otherwise preside over during the 20th Century.
In other words, 25 years from now, it won't matter what the story was about. And if this isn't the milemarker that re-sets the course of influence on public opinion, another will surely come along, somewhwere else in time. watch for it.
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