With thousands of journalists being laid off and newspapers ceasing publication every month, many have undoubtedly questioned the future of journalism. As Nation writers Robert McChesney and John Nichols argue, the future rests in the hands of the government. On Chicago Newsroom with host Ken Davis, Nichols and McChesney discuss their new book, The Death and Life of American Journalism, and suggest government subsidies for the Fourth Estate–an idea established by the founders, who believed in a thriving press.
Although the future journalism market may support different scenarios–pay walls, web ads, pay per story–the result will be nowhere near sufficient, they say. "It will leave us a huge gap of uncovered communities, uncovered government, uncovered elections, uncovered politics and we can’t survive in that situation," says McChesney. Among many arguments, they debunk the claim that advertising-driven journalism will still work.
"Can we really have a serious journalism in communities across the country underserved, neglected communities–communities that the mainstream media did a rotten job of covering," asks Nichols. "Can we do it? And, what we’re finding is when we go to those communities, as well as speak to top experts in the field, is no. It’s not going to happen."