Economist Julia Cage in her book Saving the Media offers critical insight into the closing of hundreds of newspapers in both large American cities and small communities. The sum total of the decrease in local news coverage has created a void in political and civic accountability in America and around the world. ” In the United States the decline in the number of journalists employed by the daily press began in 1990, when there were 57,000 daily journalists as compared with 38,000 today. Both the 2008 financial crisis and the Internet have much to do with the decline. The impact of the Internet has greatly reduced print media advertising. It has also impacted to a somewhat lesser degree both radio and television. The result has been cost saving dramatic reductions of journalists across the spectrum.
Cage’s book is a consolidated read. It is filled with thoughtful analysis of the impact that reduced news coverage is having on the body politic and the very existence of the democratic process. Not to be left on a cliff, Cage offers potential creative and far sighted options for journalism. ” What must be recognized is that the news media provide a public good, just as universities and other contributors to the knowledge economy of the twenty-first century do. For that reason they deserve special treatment by the government.” Cage brilliantly advocates for a new form of non-profit organization for the news media!
I highly recommend this French Economist’s insight into the future of journalism worldwide. She has worked closely with Tom Piketty, the famous French Economist who has researched and written extensively on income inequality. Search overviews of his two most recent books here at gordonsgoodreads.