Every Citizen Has a Stake in the Business of Journalism

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Ed Fouhy

US journalism is in crisis as publishers are facing slow motion economic disaster. The causes and consequences of this will be discussed by veteran journalist Ed Fouhy. With 30 years experience in online, print, television and radio news, Fouhy covered the civil rights struggle in the South, Watergate and was Saigon bureau chief for CBS News at the height of the Viet Nam war. He has won numerous awards for his reporting including five national Emmys and the Drew Pearson Award for Investigative Reporting.

For decades newspapers enjoyed remarkable margins, sometimes as much as 40%. But now cheap and targeted advertisements in other media have destroyed the economic model that once sustained US journalism. Last year Google alone had greater advertising revenue than all 1700 or so daily newspapers combined. Publishers attempt to make up for lost revenue by erecting paywalls as their readers turned to online sources of news. In spite of that, lay-offs continue to take watchdogs off the beat.

Why should we care? Fouhy’s answer of course is that democracy flourishes only when there are free, independent, and skeptical newspapers supported by a sustainable business model. Every citizen has a stake in the business of journalism.