Journalism

Bring back newspapers?

The chorus of voices harping on CNN and Twitter for reporting heaps of misinformation and just plain nonsense in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings continues to grow, with David Carr offering a rundown on nytimes.com; earlier this week, a Slate headline declared, “Breaking News is Broken.” In that article, Farhad Manjoo advised readers to skip the moment-to-moment coverage and, instead, to read “your favorite newspaper’s home page” the morning after a major event. What he’s advocating, in essence, is a return to the daily newspaper rhythm, with professional journalists given the time to get a story right. Just one problem: this is exactly the system we’ve spent the past decade dismantling. Even top reporters at national and regional newspapers are now expected to contribute to Twitter, update their papers’ breaking-news blogs, and take digital video at the same time as they are reporting their stories. If there’s a systemic problem with breaking news, it’s at least in part because all reporters are now pushed into a 24-hour online news cycle.

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