The Pressure of the New Economy on Good News Reporting

by mo on March 25, 2009

My fear with the changing world of newspaper reporting is what we stand to lose in the transition. The industry must change or course but I think I fear it will be a fairly ugly process. We will not have the new business model up and running before we see the end of a few more great newspapers. What we stand to lose is a group of great journalists who are cast off and challenged to find an outlet for their work that pays them.

I still have a local paper. Each day I marvel at how few pages there are. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is holding on to quite a few great reporters and I can only hope that they ride out the storm.

Reporters Meg Kissinger and Susanne Rust wrote a series called “Chemical Fallout” that chronicled the failure of the federal government to regulate BPA in everyday products. The team won the Scripps Howard award for the series but more importantly to all of us is that their reporting, paid for by a paper in Milwaukee, is what sparked industry and government action. Leaders from the House of Representatives and the Senate on March 13th announced legislation to ban BPA in all food and beverage containers because of the work of these two journalists.

The series is a fascinating read. This is an example of what we all stand to lose.

And if you do not think BPA is bad –

BPA is used in thousands of household products, including baby bottles, eyeglasses and CDs. It has been detected in nearly all Americans tested. Developed as an estrogen replacement, it is widely used to line metal cans.

Studies have linked BPA to breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, heart disease and hyperactivity. A study released last fall found that it interferes with chemotherapy in breast cancer patients.” Meg Kissinger

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Jon Laughlin March 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm

The JS is an amazing paper. Wasted in Wisconsin is an amazing, and heartbreaking look at the states obsession with alcohol. That’s surely going to win some awards.

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