Magazine article American Libraries

Go Peddle Your Papers

Magazine article American Libraries

Go Peddle Your Papers

Article excerpt

One of the most disturbing things I've heard all year came out of Garrison Keillor's mouth during an interview (see p. 38) I taped while chasing him down the street in Washington, D.C., during the ALA Annual Conference in June. He said, "I'm pretty sure that we're seeing the death of the newspaper business as we know it, and that throws us into a world that's very strange for people my age. I don't know how democracy works without newspapers. I simply don't."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

As someone who reads his Chicago Tribune every morning, I don't either. Keillor is not the first to say that newspapers are on their way out, but I've been pooh-poohing the prediction, and I wasn't quite ready to hear it from someone whose witty syndicated column I read loyally.

In this issue, Jane Dobija takes a look at the state of the First Amendment in America and writes (p. 50) that "since 9/11, a fear of information has fueled much of the policy coming out of Washington. Legislators have moved to curb the internet's heyday, and the White House has tried to cork the flow of news from its offices. Meanwhile, publishing conglomerates have relegated cutting-edge research and in-depth journalism to second place, making profit their new priority."

A seasoned journalist and librarian, Dobija knows of what she speaks. In 1992, she founded the Warsaw Journalism Center in Poland, which she directed until 1999, implementing a journalism education program for the emerging democracy. …

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