Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The diminishing print media is pretty frightening. It seems like every day one opens the newspaper to find another paper laying off people, consolidating, offering buyouts, and basically cutting back. The dismal economy coupled with decreased advertising in print has serious consequences to the dissemination of news. Most importantly in hurting print media is the World Wide Web and the availability of news online.
Blogs like this white collar crime blog do not replace the press. They offer transparency on some issues, and hopefully also offer explanation of the issues covered by the press. This blog also aims at providing links to the vast sources available on the distinct topic of white collar crime. In a world of information overload, having a place to easily access materials in a particular area can hopefully be time-saving. And to the many who peruse this blog - I thank you for clicking this way as it is nice to know that the many hours of work that this takes is useful to some.
But this blog does not do something very important for people, and it is something that print media has provided - this is investigative reporting. Many a white collar case arose as a result of someone in the media culling through government documents and speaking with relevant people to find corruption, discrepancies, and criminal conduct. Likewise, it is print media that investigates and exposes government improprieties. The small Watergates that occur throughout the world are brought to light by the hard work of investigative journalists.
With newspapers reducing personnel and the web being an insufficient substitute - at least at present - for advancing this form of reporting, it raises concerns about an important check on government. It isn't likely that the government will be bailing out this industry, and certainly conflicts arise in even considering this option. But one has to wonder if white collar crime prosecutions, and other prosecutions of this nature will decrease as the press will no longer be there to expose criminality that is often difficult to prove. And more importantly, will there be an appropriate check on government conduct when print media becomes a mere skeleton.
(esp) (w/ disclosure that my partner is in print media)