'Losing the News' By Alex S. Jones
Reviewed By Erica Noonan
It has been an annus horribilis for newspapers.
Dailies in Seattle, Denver, and Tucson went dark in 2009, as did several dozen small-town weeklies. The Boston Globe was threatened with closure, as was the San Francisco Chronicle. And we still have more than three months to go.
The timing could not be more appropriate for veteran newsman Alex S. Jones’s latest book, “Losing the News: The Future of the News That Feeds Democracy.’’
This is not a hopeful book. It’s more of an obituary for the industry that gave Jones an enviable career, first at his family’s own small paper in Greeneville, Tenn., then as a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter at The New York Times, and a plum perch at the nexus of journalism and academia as director of Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.
“Losing the News’’ is one of the clearest assessments to date of the sweeping technological and financial changes that overturned the modern tradition of objective newsgathering and dissemination.