Se os jornais se forem…não vão sozinhos

20061109_independentPaul Starr – professor de Comunicação em Princeton – escreve no The New Republic um longo texto (versão para imprimir aqui) sobre o que podemos perder quando deixarmos morrer os jornais.
E o argumento principal é de que, naturalmente, perderemos muito mais.
Leitura recomendada para o fim-de-semana.
Excertos:

Whether the Internet will ever support general-interest journalism at a level comparable to newspapers, it would be foolish to predict. The reality is that resources for journalism are now disappearing from the old media faster than new media can develop them.

One danger of reduced news coverage is to the integrity of government. It is not just a speculative proposition that corruption is more likely to flourish when those in power have less reason to fear exposure.  (…)And while the new digital environment is more open to “citizen journalism” and the free expression of opinions, it is also more open to bias, and to journalism for hire. Online there are few clear markers to distinguish blogs and other sites that are being financed to promote a viewpoint from news sites operated independently on the basis of professional rules of reporting. So the danger is not just more corruption of government and business–it is also more corruption of journalism itself.

News coverage is not all that newspapers have given us. They have lent the public a powerful means of leverage over the state, and this leverage is now at risk. If we take seriously the notion of newspapers as a fourth estate or a fourth branch of government, the end of the age of newspapers implies a change in our political system itself. Newspapers have helped to control corrupt tendencies in both government and business. If we are to avoid a new era of corruption, we are going to have to summon that power in other ways. Our new technologies do not retire our old responsibilities.

[Sugestão recolhida no PontoMedia]