Newspapers as friend? Crusader? Moral authority? What do you think?

Detroit News
merican newspapers are in danger — so, let’s take a moment and think about what we may be losing.
    Yesterday, we heard from Aly Colon and Bill Tammeus, two veterans of the industry. Today, let’s hear what two more have to say …

    Newspapers are “still the credible, reliable source for news about our region,” says Neal Rubin, columnist for The Detroit News. “We are simultaneously the neutral player, the moral authority, the friend and the crusader.”
    Detroit papers recently demonstrated their value, Neal writes, referring to the plight of former Detroit major Kwame Kilpatrick. “Without newspapers, a corrupt mayor would still be in office — and probably would have been for as long as he wanted the job. No one else was going to turn outrage into irrefutable facts.” (Read Neal’s complete message here.)

    Newpapers’ “central value was imparting a sense of community to constituents, surely a central tenet of democratic societies,” says Charles Eisendrath, director of the Knight-Wallace Fellows at the University of Michigan, a former bureau chief for Time Magazine.
    The new online publishing ventures, he says, have not “rescued the values of decency and good governance, as newspapers did with some regularity.” (Read Charles’ complete comment here.)

    That’s what the professionals say. Do you agree?
    What imperiled values would you add to our growing list?

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