I keep reading from various sources (I know, weasel words) that the print media is dying (or already dead). Other than for the purposes of nostalgia, why is this bad? I can read any number of local, regional, national, or international news sources online from my home computer, work computer, and even my phone. I think saving a few million trees every year is a good thing, don't you?
Part of the lamenting this change is not nostalgia, however. There is a genuine concern that without a good print media, there will be no (or at least reduced) investigate reports, government watchdogs, and checks on power. This is supposedly due to the fact that print media has the funds necessary to follow-up on leads and develop in-depth stories. Blogs, on the other hand, supposedly do not have these types of resources. I disagree with this argument. First, since 9/11/01, there has been little to none of that from the traditional media anyway! Remember all those great stories busting open the fraud that was Sadam Hussein's glaring lack of any WMDs? Yea, me either. Second, there are blogs that do investigative stories, even if the quantity of investigations is less than a traditional media outlet. This brings me to my third point: there are far more blogs than newspapers. You do not need a single blog to do the work of a single newspaper. A collection of a couple dozen blogs can and do perform as much reporting. Plus, blogs cross-link and cross-pollinate, so the word gets out fast. Not all blogs do this, yes. However, I feel enough blogs are doing this and are doing a fine job replacing the dying print industry.
This is one industry I am not sad to see go. If they actually did what they think they have been doing all these years, I would probably be significantly more sympathetic.