Read it and weep. One of the great newspaper organizations in the world, Knight-Ridder, announced today it will become irrelevant. Goodbye Charlotte Observer. Welcome more corporate media.
Sadly, we already know exactly what will unfold in Charlotte, because it already happened in Raleigh. Old timers fondly remember the days when the Raleigh News and Observer was an intelligent, aggressive newspaper in the truest sense of watchdog journalism. Then they got bought by McClatchy. You could hear almost hear the creaking of compromise and mediocrity as the paper lowered its sights and its standards in favor of delivering a few more pennies to the bottom line.
But now it's even worse. Now both major papers in North Carolina will be owned by the same useless company, delivering coupons and crappy coverage to fewer and fewer doorsteps in Triangle and Charlotte-Mecklenburg neighborhoods. I'm sure they'll quickly defend their move as one designed to keep their business healthy, so they can share news between organizations and achieve economies of scale and fire lots of people.
I guess this is what we mean by freedom of the press these days. Freedom to do stupid things.
Thank god for the internets.