Local papers like the Sun or my hometown paper, the Ashtabula Star Beacon are becoming things of the past.
They can't compete with the Internet and althogh they provide excellent local coverage, it's their news rooms that seem to continually bare the brunt of cuts. This includes the Sun. From Metrocity today:
SUN WORKERS PROTEST JOB CUTS: Nearly 200 Baltimore Sun workers and their supporters rallied outside the Baltimore Sun office building Thursday to protest the impending cuts of 100 jobs at the paper, reported Liz Farmer in Thursday’s Maryland Daily Record. “Outside the Sun building’s steps Thursday, 100 black chairs were lined up to represent the jobs management plans to eliminate by August,” which include 60 newsroom positions, reported Farmer. Workers – who wore black to mourn the loss of the jobs – carried signs saying "The Baltimore Sun: 'Lite' for All," and "You Own This Place, Now Lay Yourselves off," and spoke about the consequences the cuts would have on the newspaper and the Baltimore community. “We believe that part of the reason these things keep happening is that the ownership doesn’t live here — they don’t have any investment here, they don’t know Baltimore and they don’t care what happens here,” said Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild co-chair and Sun reporter Tanika White at the rally. “Environmental reporter Tom Pelton...said he wanted ‘no part’ of a newspaper that would rather show pictures of Miley Cyrus than tell readers about important global events,” reported blogger Rona K on the worker-run News of the Sun blog.
I love the democratic way the Internet works, but I'm worried about the jobs that are lost in local papers around the country. And worse, if the telecoms get their way, big business will take the democracy out of the tubes as it is now and make all of us pay for the content we receive or make it so that we can't even get to that content. If this happens, it won't just be about screwing the local papers and local workers, it'll be about screwing all of us.