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David Simon: Content Is King!

 by David Schimke


Tags: Media, Politics, newspapers, David Simon, the Wire, Democracy Now,

Testifying before a Senate hearing on the “Future of Media,” David Simon, creator of HBO’s The Wire and a former reporter for the Baltimore Sun, warned that “high end journalism is dying in America, and unless a new economic model is achieved, it will not be reborn on the web or anywhere else.”

He begins his comments, broadcast today by Democracy Now, by saying that he doubts that neither newspaper publishers nor new media mavericks will agree with his overall analysis. He blasts the captains of the newspaper industry for having a martyr complex, and delivers a withering analysis of their short-sighted decision to cut newsroom budgets in the hopes the consumers wouldn’t notice—a move he equates with Detroit’s downfall in the Seventies. He also reminds proprietors of news-oriented websites that bloggers, tweeters, and citizen journalists can’t take the place of professional reporters, who, like firefighters and other civic servants, require training and institutional support—not to mention funding for investigations that never see the light of day.

His conclusion is that without an acknowledgement that content is king, there is no hope for the future of serious journalism, for profit or not.

SourceDemocracy Now! 

tom hendricks
5/11/2009 10:25:31 PM

I agree. Newspapers have put advertisers ahead of readers and it shows. Here's an example. Where in any daily is there a page on college news? The reason is that college students don't buy from newspaper's advertisers. Clearly we have targeted news that is no news at all for a large section of the possible newspaper readers. Part of the art and media revolution is a no-ad newspaper.