The Obama effect on newspapers

The New York Times reports that newspapers in the United States surged in popularity and were sold out on the day of the Obama victory in the presidential poll. Many of the bigger newspapers reprinted the edition, some with a marked-up price because it was truly a historic day and a collector’s item. The entire story is here.

Looking at the deep interest of the public in memorable journalism, would it be too much to imagine that newspapers could win back readers if they covered the real news of the day, rather than the contrived material that many of them dish out thanks to the influence of the market? In other words, abandon the flood of pseudo-events and PR engineering in favour of hard-nosed investigation and compelling reportage?

In the era of the neo-conservatives that has just ended, the agenda for newspapers was set not by any professional ethic, but by the military-industrial complex that muzzled the media or whetted its appetite for ever-higher profits, resulting in the decline of the press and the rise of independent observers on new media.

And, the complacent sections of the Indian media can learn from this experience without going through the entire cycle.


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