Sunday, October 23, 2005

All the News That's Fit to Shrink

Newsprint has risen in price - one of those odd details that can alter (literally) the shape of things to come. According to the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal will start lopping off a column to save money next year, shrinking the paper by 10%; the New York Times will use lighter-weight newsprint (and lay off a bunch of reporters). This may hasten the market for new technologies for reading comfortably without using paper. Just one more pressure point on the troubled Fourth Estate.

There was an interesting piece in Inside Higher Ed a while back on how much more expensive it is to go after facts than to express opinions. And (with a touch of nostalgia) the essayist looks back on an era when news, opinion, and entertainment were more distinct. I'm leery of "golden age" nostalgia, but I do worry when good papers cut back on their news operations. Because, as Spiked points out, it's awfully easy to go wrong when you don't check the facts.


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