2023年8月3日 星期四

The Tragic Decline of ‘Free’ News 「免費」新聞造成媒體業沉淪

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2023/08/04 第444期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 The Tragic Decline of 'Free' News 「免費」新聞造成媒體業沉淪
The 2024 GOP Field Faces a Choice: Law and Order or Loyalty 法治忠誠難兩全 川普「密件案」考驗同黨參選人
The Tragic Decline of 'Free' News 「免費」新聞造成媒體業沉淪
文/Lydia Polgreen


The Los Angeles Times announced it will reduce its newsroom staff by 13%, a month after the paper celebrated winning two Pulitzer Prizes. Last month, Vice, a company that once seemed like the invincible future of media, sought bankruptcy protection. BuzzFeed shuttered its Pulitzer Prize-winning news division. We've seen deep cuts at the major TV and cable news networks.


The loss of jobs in any industry, particularly one as central to protecting our democracy as journalism, is always worrying. But what makes these losses particularly troubling is what many of these news organizations have in common: They sought to make quality news for the masses that cost little to nothing to consume.


In an ever more unequal world, it is perhaps not surprising that we are splitting into news haves and have-nots. Those who can afford and are motivated to pay for subscriptions to access high-quality news have a wealth of choices: newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times compete for their business, along with magazines such as The New Yorker and The Atlantic.


It bodes ill for our democracy that those who cannot pay — or choose not to — are left with whatever our broken information ecosystem manages to serve up, a crazy quilt that includes television news of diminishing ambition, social media, aggregation sites, partisan news and talk radio.


There are a few very successful media companies that charge people money for high-quality journalism. Some have relatively porous paywalls, and even drop their paywalls entirely for coverage of major events involving public safety. But many surviving free consumer sites are cutting staff and focusing on aggregation — which is an important service, but not the same as investing in original journalism. Television news is dominated by talking heads as budgets for real newsgathering shrink. Cable news is in terminal decline in the age of cord cutting.


The current landscape means the mass audience that never paid for news and never will pay remains underserved, and that has big implications for the future of our country.


For the better part of two centuries, news that was free — or at least felt free, owing to its reliance on advertising — was good business. But the advertising dollars that once underwrote ambitious mass journalism are now stuffing the pockets of technology billionaires. We're all — even those of us willing and able to pay for quality journalism — the poorer for it.



The 2024 GOP Field Faces a Choice: Law and Order or Loyalty 法治忠誠難兩全 川普「密件案」考驗同黨參選人
文/Jonathan Weisman, Ken Bensin

法治忠誠難兩全 川普「密件案」考驗同黨參選人

The federal indictment of former President Donald Trump has left the Republican Party — and his rivals for the party's nomination — with a stark choice between deferring to a system of law and order that has been central to the party's identity for half a century or a more radical path of resistance, to the Democratic Party in power and to the nation's highest institutions that Trump now derides.


How the men and women who seek to lead the party into the 2024 election respond to the indictments of the former president in the coming months will have enormous implications for the future of the GOP.


So far, the declared candidates for the presidency who are not Trump have divided into three camps regarding his federal indictment : those who have strongly backed him and his insistence that the indictment is a politically driven means to deny him a second White House term, such as Vivek Ramaswamy; those who have urged Americans to take the charges seriously, such as Chris Christie and Asa Hutchinson; and those who have straddled both camps, condemning the indictment but nudging voters to move past Trump's leadership, such as Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley.


The trick, for all of Trump's competitors, will be finding the balance between harnessing the anger of the party's core voters who remain devoted to him while winning their support as an alternative nominee.


The danger for Republicans, after the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, is that encouraging too much anger could lead to chaos — and to what pollsters call the "ghettoization" of their party: confined to minority status by voters unwilling to let go of the fervent beliefs that have been rejected by the majority.


How the party, and its 2024 candidates, respond will matter, to the country and to the party's political fortunes. The core Republican voter might stand with Trump, but most Americans most likely will not. It is a dilemma, acknowledged Clifford Young, president of U.S. public affairs at the polling and marketing firm Ipsos.


"For the average American in the middle, they're appalled," he said, "but for the base, not only is support being solidified, they don't believe what is happening."


"Heck," he added, "they believe he won the election."


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