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October 23, 2014
Whither the News? On Paper, at Least

These have been seminal/dire days (your choice), more of them, for print journalism. First Robert G. Kaiser, a veteran Washington Post reporter posted “Bad News for the News,” about the technological transformation of newspapers. Then came the passing of Ben Bradlee, The Post’s legendary editor, at 93. 

Of Bradlee, David Carr of The New York Times wrote that “Newspapers, and people’s regard for them have shrunk since he ran The Post.” A withering regard for the news? Can that be? 

PR people might not feel all that troubled by the changing fortunes of newspapers. After all, there’s social media now to get the word out, to build relationships around. But whether social media will ever be part of the nation’s fabric the way newspapers have been, or were, is something to ponder earnestly, possibly fatefully. It’s a story that Ben Bradlee and editors like him would have kept after. 

(Photo: President O’Bama awards the retired Ben Bradlee the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.)     

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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