Without newspapers citizens are vulnerable: Neil Macdonald

In a recent column for CBC, Washington correspondent for The National, Neil Macdonald, writes:

“…the public does remain relatively well informed. And let’s be honest, a great deal of the credit has to go to tenacious, persistent newspaper reporters.

They’re the ones who, by and large, generate the thick bedrock of facts and statistics we tap into on the internet.

Were it not for newspapers, the American public would likely not know that its former president had authorized secret CIA “black” prisons abroad, where government operatives were free to torture detainees. Or that the U.S. government was wiretapping American citizens without judicial permission. Or that returning veterans, their minds and bodies shattered, were suffering in the dank squalor of a mouldy military hospital. If TV reporters were to tell the truth, they would say that in the vast majority of cases their assignments begin with a newspaper article.

So, as newspapers shrivel and disappear, we are all consequently disempowered.”

The column, “In defence of sickly newspapers,” laments the weakening of newspapers and concludes that without newspapers “we are all of us more powerless and more vulnerable.”