Back in the day I dreamed about being a newspaper reporter. But a painful stint covering the Dick Gephardt presidential campaign for the Iowa State Daily led me to reconsider. Hindsight being 20-20, it worked out for the best.
It's a frightening time for those of us who use words and images to tell stories. The Des Moines Register fired 13 staffers this week, including a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter and a photographer whose images from across Iowa and the world are stories in themselves. Gone. Just like that.
The newspaper industry is in a free fall. When the Hoop-lahs are my age, newspapers likely will be a relic of the past, like butter churns and rotary phones. Damn the digital age.
The problem is that anyone, anywhere can post anything on the Internet. A lot of what is out there is purposefully deceptive, promoting an agenda while trying to appear unbiased and research based.* While I realize that many newspapers publish online, it isn't the same. The relationship and trust level is different. And it may get harder to find objectivity. That isn't a good thing.
*The one online exception, of course, is The Daily Hoop-lah, where all commentary is reality based and totally straightforward. Usually.