Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Paywalls will inhibit democracy

Now here is a unique argument.The advent of free newspapers online has enhanced democracy.

Joel Mathis relates his story

For most of the last decade, I’ve been a daily reader of the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. To a lesser extent, I’ve been a regular reader of the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian newspaper in Britain. This unprecedented access to a breadth and depth of quality news reporting and analysis allowed me — for the first time — to see the national dialogue as something other than something that happened out there, on the East Coast, far away from us little people. It allowed me to observe (and, eventually, to participate in) that dialogue in something close to real time. And though conservatives have been forever shouting about the liberal bias in the news industry — and liberals made similar countercharges during the newspaper-enabled invasion of Iraq — having access to a variety of news resources helped me balance the information from one source against the information from another source, giving me a more nuanced and well-rounded picture of (say) a day in Iraq than what would’ve been available from an AP dispatch.

Ht-Sarah Hartley

No comments: