The value of news

New York Times Op-ed piece recently commented on how newspapers should consider switching to an endowment model supported by philanthropy vs. the current attempt to operate and survive as for profit enterprises.

I particularly like the Thomas Jefferson quote,  “The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right. And were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate to prefer the latter.”

I got wind of this article by a a blog discussion written by Dan Gillmor at the Center for Citizen Media. Dan’s post criticizes the overall logic of preserving the current model, with all of its flaws, through the endowded non-profit model. Praise is given, however, to the article’s effort to suggest new models to sustain journalism, a vital endeavor in any free and progressive society.

The deeper question, may not be about which model works best, in either a for profit, or non-profit model. It might instead concern how we consume and value factually accurate and relevant information. My sense is that future generations seem less interested in objective truth and information. As a society, we should all be very concerned.

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