On Tuesday, I was fortunate to hear two great speakers on the state of American journalism and what can be done to renew and reinvigorate the American press. John Nichols, The Nation’s Washington, D.C., correspondent and Robert McChesney, a pre-eminent scholar on the history and political economy of communication, are the co-authors of a new book called “The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution That Will Begin the World Again.”
Too many people outside the journalism community do not realize the scope and depth of the calamity that has befallen American journalism in the past quarter-century, and certainly in recent years. I began trying to chronicle the layoffs, buyouts, and struggles of the newspaper industry more than two years ago on a blog. But I couldn’t keep up with the velocity of the bad news.
My hope was that by videotaping these talks at Town Hall Seattle, I could make Nichols’ and McChesney’s message and evidence accessible to a wider audience and stimulate conversations among friends and family members about what’s ultimately at stake as journalism grows weaker — the vitality of our democracy.
I’ve broken the video into segments on distinct topics so they’re easier to watch and don’t slow down your computer. Unfortunately, my battery died right as McChesney’s talk began. Note to self: Carry extra batteries. There were three other people videotaping, so hopefully one of them will upload video of his talk. Please feel free to post comments on the videos or share links to McChesney’s talk!