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Argument: The collapse of journalism would be devastating for society

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Supporting quotations

John Nichols and Robert McChesney. "The Death and Life of Great American Newspapers". Nation. March 18, 2009 - "Communities across America are suffering through a crisis that could leave a dramatically diminished version of democracy in its wake. It is not the economic meltdown, although the crisis is related to the broader day of reckoning that appears to have arrived. The crisis of which we speak involves more than mere economics. Journalism is collapsing, and with it comes the most serious threat in our lifetimes to self-government and the rule of law as it has been understood here in the United States."

Rob Kall. December 17, 2008. "Bail Out Investigative Journalists". Huffington Post. December 17, 2008: "While the Federal reserve and Congress are bailing out corporations so big we can't allow them to fail, let's talk about bailing out the newspaper industry. Or at least, journalism -- an element so essential to our democracy and the honest, efficient running of our government that we can't afford to be without it, either. The fact that the Tribune company has filed for bankruptcy, that newspapers are going solely online or cutting back to three-day-a-week delivery, troubles me. Democracy does not need ad sections, but it does need investigative independent reporters."

David Horsey. "No Bailout of the Truthtellers". Seattle PI. February 13, 2009: "Oddly enough, this journalistic calamity comes just when the news matters more to Americans than ever. Every report about the stimulus package working its way through Congress and every story about job losses and mortgage foreclosures now touches each citizen of this country personally. It's not about somebody else, it's about you and me. Will you and I have money to retire? Will you and I have jobs next week or next year? Will our children be able to go to college or buy a house when the time comes? Will our 401k and our mutual funds be worthless?

Given the vastly enhanced power of government and large business entities to project a self-serving, sanitized version of the truth, the need for credible sources of information has never been greater. I've got to believe that necessity will compel an inspired response to the financial collapse now threatening to permanently cripple American journalism.

I've got to believe it because the alternative is too frightening."

Mickey Alam Khan: "A population that is not well-read will not think critically. Newspapers, be they in print or online or on mobile, offer edited, moderated and unbiased news and balanced opinion so necessary for debating between good choices and bad in personal life and at work."[1]

Texas A&M's Prof. Starr: "The United States as we know it will disappear; it will no longer be a nation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. One by one, all of our freedoms will disappear; the Bill of Rights, of freedoms, will be meaningless because there will be no freedom of speech or of the press. Without a free press, there will be no one to keep an eye on the government and to tell the people what the government is doing and is planning to do."[2]

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