Sunday, December 16, 2007

"There is a chance that historians will examine this period in American history and wonder if journalism left the field."

The New York Times this week published a captivating essay that manages to hit on:

1) The layoffs at the Chicago Reader and how...

2) They have grave implications for the future of investigative reporting and how...

3) That's a bad thing for us as a democracy but how...

4) All is not lost.

Your milage may vary on that last point, especially when he trots out Rupert Murdoch as his proof, but the rest of it is pretty awesome and includes a nice hook into the continuing Chicago police torture cases and how the Reader's the only paper that truly cared--that is until they laid off the lead reporter on the story last week. A truly haunting line:

Google and Digg never made a phone call, never asked hard questions of public officials, never got an innocent man out of jail