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Beyond NewsThe Future of Journalism$
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Mitchell Stephens

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231159388

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231159388.001.0001

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“Circulators of Intelligence Merely”

“Circulators of Intelligence Merely”

The Devaluation of News

(p.55) 3 “Circulators of Intelligence Merely”
Beyond News

Mitchell Stephens

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the steady decline of newspapers in the United States throughout the postwar decades. The days when professional journalists held a monopoly on news lasted a little more than a century and a half. Although the really big money came later, that era can be said to have begun in the middle of the nineteenth century, when reporting was growing strong, presses and the telegraph were moving news fast, and bankers started investing in newspapers. Although there still remains money to be squeezed out of shrinking news organizations, that era is drawing to a close more or less now. The chapter considers the factors that stole the newspaper's audience, especially radio, television, computers, and the Internet. It also discusses the advent of online news and the competition it posed to printed newspapers. Finally, it argues that journalism organizations can withstand this current assault by the Internet if they cease to be what James Gordon Bennett, Sr. called “circulators of intelligence merely,” and instead it become more insightful.

Keywords:   newspapers, journalists, news, reporting, radio, television, computers, Internet, online news, journalism

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