Public policy and the crisis in the news business

Newspapers are for sale across the country. National Public Radio and television news shows are laying off staff. The Tribune Company is in bankruptcy. It's clear that journalism is in crisis, and in the current recession, things are likely to get much worse. That's alarming. A robust press is vital to our democracy. And while bloggers and other new-media news operations have enriched the public dialogue in important ways, their work still depends on the painstaking – and expensive – reporting supplied by traditional journalists….

LA Times editor

Journalists, accountants and bankruptcy experts found accord Thursday on the No. 1 issue facing Tribune Company as it begins its Chapter 11 bankruptcy adventure: It isn't owner Sam Zell. It isn't the company's huge indebtedness. The question, said Los Angeles Times editor Russ Stanton, is "whether this is a viable business." In one way, Stanton told a gathering at USC's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, the answer is already clear. "I think big-city newspapers, the way we have known them, are not long for this world, as they're now configured."…